Joshua 6:17 – But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster on it. (HCSB)
Joshua 7:21 – When I saw among the spoils a beautiful cloak from Babylon,200 silver shekels, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them and took them. You can see for yourself. They are concealed in the ground inside my tent, with the money under the cloak.” (HCSB)
My grand daughter was eating chocolate syrup on her ice cream when she turned to my husband and said, “I may have gotten a little on my shirt.” When my husband looked, chocolate syrup was smeared across her entire chest and down across her tummy! What started out as a barely noticeable spot became a huge stain when she tried to wipe it away. I started thinking about how that so often happens with our sin. We commit a “little” sin, but rather that confess and deal with the consequences, we try to hide it, pretend it never happened, wipe it away. I recently saw “little sins grow fast” posted on a social media site. Sir Walter Scott in the book Marmion summed it up with “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”. A simple translation of that quote might be “what complications we create when we try to hide a simple mistake.” Joshua 7:20-26 tells us the story of Achan. Joshua 6:20 says there was a trumpet blast, then a great shout, then the walls of Jericho collapsed – the walls of Jericho had fallen because people gave a loud shout! Achan’s adrenalin must have been pumping! Then he goes into the city, and there is just so much stuff – shiny stuff, sparkly stuff, colorful stuff. More stuff than anyone could ever use. And, he wanted some of that stuff so badly. Oh, he knew that God had said not to take anything, but he only took a small fraction of what was there so it was just a little sin, and he was sure he could hide it so that no one would even know. But, like the chocolate on my grand daughter’s shirt, his sins were discovered. Joshua 7:24-25 describes how not only Achan paid for his sin but his family also paid a great price. Lord, we know that sin creates a barrier between us and You (Isaiah 59:2), and Jesus told us in Luke 12:2-3 that our sins will be revealed. As the old hymn says, “Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Isaiah 43:4a – “Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you…..” (HCSB)
I was sitting with a group of friends, sipping coffee and chatting about everything that came to mind, when one of my friends expressed her desire for a ring with chocolate diamonds. Someone else in the group began to tell us that chocolate diamonds are actually low quality diamonds and that before they were renamed “chocolate” by the Le Vian Corporation, they were just brown and were used in industrial settings or even tossed into the road with the gravel. The people who can determine the value of these stones thought they were useless. As she told about how someone had seen their value and elevated them from “useless brown rocks” to “expensive chocolate diamonds”, I was suddenly overcome with the realization “That’s how we are!” Many times the people who we have allowed to determine our value label us useless. We allow the world to determine that we are stones to be trashed rather than diamonds to be treasured. I have no idea if my friend’s story about the brown diamonds is true, but I do know that when God looks at me, He doesn’t see me as paltry; He sees me as precious. I may not ever be honored in the opinion of the world, but Isaiah 43:4 tells me that I am honored in the opinion of the One who created the world. Darlene Sala has said, “God has formed many diamonds, but He made only one you”, and Psalm 139:14 says I am wonderfully made. People may see me as worthless, but God sent His Son to die for me because He thinks I’m worth it. I thank You, Lord, that when You look at me You see something precious. Psalm 3:3 tells me that You lift my head, and I know that in Your eyes I am cherished.
Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well. (NIV)
Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. (HCSB)
Lord, I’m very discouraged as I pull on my jeans. I know my muffin top is my fault. I know that my muffin top has made friends with, well, muffin tops…….and bottoms…….and their good friend, butter. Muffins taste so good with coffee, Lord! I’ve read the magazine articles telling me how to trick myself into not eating the unhealthy foods – carrots to replace the crunch of potato chips, water to make me feel as full as if I had just eaten, even chocolate flavored coffee to replace chocolate chip cookies. Well, apparently I’m not that easily tricked about crunch or solids vs liquids or flavors. My body just screamed at me “This stuff doesn’t taste like chocolate. This stuff doesn’t even taste like coffee”. A full glass of water fills my bladder not my stomach, and my taste buds are well aware that I didn’t eat. And its safe to say there are not enough carrots in the world! I want to make friends with the number on the scale and the number on the tag in the back of my pants, but the numbers I want to buddy up with don’t seem anxious to hang out with me. But, Lord, You tell me in Psalms 139 that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. Genesis 1:26 tells me that I am created in Your image. In Ephesians 2:10 it says that we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. All of that tells me that You don’t care if the tag in the back of my pants says 2 or 12. I know that I need to keep my body healthy because You tell me in 1 Corinthians that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that it was bought with a price, but You don’t ask me to have a supermodel’s thin body. What You said to Samuel also applies to me (1 Samuel 16:7). When You look at me, You don’t look the same way other people look at me. People look at the outside, but You look at the heart. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. “