Tuesday, September 5, 2017

covert is overt to God

The Word for today:
Joshua 5, 6
Hey, wait a minute! Where's Jericho? When do the walls come tumblin' down?
The Word for today is Joshua 5, 6. Thus, the reader may wonder why we are not covering the fall of Jericho, which is told in chapter 6.
Oftentimes during our three-year journey through the Bible, the Stand in the Rain writers have anticipated whole sections of certain books which our readers would find tediously repetitive. Almost half of the book of Joshua, for example, consists of lists. Chapter after chapter is given over to an inventory of Joshua's conquests and the distribution of the land among the tribes of Israel.
Rest assured, dear reader, that we will get to Jericho. We might arrive a day or two late--but we will see, hear, and feel those walls fall down.
mark this: Joshua 2:1
Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went, and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab, and lodged there.
People (that would be us) make a big deal about the particular sins of some of the sinners in the Bible. Rahab, for example, was a prostitute. O my!
Well, I regret to have to remind us that God saw all of the people in Jericho on the same basis: they were all sinners -- just like all the people in our pews!
Rahab was just a more open sinner than most of us are. Her sins were overt, whereas most of ours are much more covert. But here's the principle to remember: the covert is overt to God.
We'd be scandalized if an inebriated person -- a drunk -- were to wander into our sanctified midst and stink up our spiffy Sunday services. And if a convicted child molester -- a pervert -- were to appear in our pews, you can bet that it wouldn't be the sermon we'd be discussing over Sunday dinner.
So here (say it three times and it's yours) is the principle to remember: the covert is overt to God. To God, a gossip (the lead singer in the choir) is every bit the sinner Rahab was. The envious (including the head deacon and the church treasurer) are every bit the sinner Rahab was. The unforgiving (including two of the seven elders) are every bit the sinner Rahab was. And the prideful (including the main Stand in the Rain writer) are every bit the sinner Rahab was.
Yup. You and I might be the very pillars of the church, with all the gunk in our lives buried discreetly beneath the skin. But skin doesn't obstruct God's view.
So we should never look down on the overt sinner. We should make a place for him right beside us in our pews. For if he could ever learn, like I have, to cover his sins with the veneer of hypocrisy, like I do, then he could become every bit the sinner that I am, someday.

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