The other day I ate more candy than necessary and then I hid the box under trash in my waste basket. I didn’t want it in view to remind me how “stupid” I had been to eat it. Guess what? It didn’t help because I knew and God knew. As a Christian I tend to wonder why we do things like hiding our sins from an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful God. Psalm 69:5 states, O God, you know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from you. Do we somehow forget that our Creator is God and He knows everything we think and do? And He even provides examples for us in His Word.
Let’s start at the small city of Ai in the days of Joshua. They have come over the Jordon, defeated the great city Jericho and this was the next city that needed to be defeated. Joshua sends out men to spy on it and they come back and tell him it looks good and it will take a handful of soldiers to get the job done. So, Joshua goes through a process and he ends up with Acan-the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah. Joshua tells him to confess so Achan answer, “Indeed, I have. Sinned against the Lord god of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils (Jericho) a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold, I coveted (Ex. 20:17) them; they are hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent.” The question before us-was hiding the stuff worth it? Joshua lost thirty-six men in the battle and you can read how it ends for Achan and his household in Joshua 7:22-26. It isn’t a pretty story!
Now, let’s go to 2 Kings 5. We know about Naaman and his dipping seven times in the Jordon River. He is cured of leprosy and then he meets Elisha. Naaman wants to give “gifts” to the prophet but Elisha says, “as the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” End of the story? Nope, read on family-
Gehazi was Elisha’s faithful servant. We first meet him in scripture when Elisha encounters the Shunammite woman. Now, we find him running after Naaman and then telling him that Elisha has changed his mind, that he would like to have two changes of clothes and one talent of gold for the poor. Naaman is pleased to do it-he gives the gift and adds on another block of gold plus some servants to help carry them back. Gehazi hides them in his room and then goes back to serving his master. Elisha looks at him and says, “Where did you go Gehazi?” He lies, “I didn’t go anywhere.” (Are you surprised he lied?) The prophet then says, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money, and receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” Gehazi went out from his presence leprous as white as snow. Notice that his greed caused leprosy to stay in his family forever. The question before us-was hiding the stuff worth it?