There's No Hiding
THAT WAS CLOSE
I'm a pastor's kid. When I was growing up, we lived directly across the street from our church. It was literally 30 seconds from the front door of the church to the front door of my house. This was really convenient when you:
forgot your Bible
wanted to go home and your parents wouldn't stop talking
needed a snack in between Sunday school and church
wanted to avoid someone in the youth group after service
But the thing that was MOST convenient was being able to hide in my room after getting in trouble at church.
You may not believe this (and I don't blame you) but I wasn't the calmest kid you ever met. I had a hard time sitting still in "Big Church" a lot! Most of the time I would sit by my grandmother because she would give me candy to help me stay quiet while I drew pictures on every tithe envelope I could get my hands on in the back of the pew. But those times that I sat with my friends instead of my grandma usually ended poorly.
One of two things would normally happen...Either I would be called out by my dad FROM THE PULPIT and melt under the pew, OR my mom would have someone get my attention for her, and then she would give me the "come-over-here-right-now-finger-of-doom!" When I stood up to move beside her, everyone knew it was not because we missed each other. Sometimes it was so obvious I was in trouble that several members would start silently praying for my soul, because it was evident I was about to meet Jesus.
On one particular occasion during a Sunday night church service, when I sat down by my mom, she gave me the dreaded mom-whisper in the ear. She told me, "You're getting a spankin' when we get home." *GULP* The rest of the service all I could think about was...how do I get out of this one?
My little brain was kicking into overtime. And then, I got it! I knew what I had to do. I had to hide. But not in a place they would have to come looking for me (that would only make the situation worse). No. I needed to hide...in my bed. I figured, if it looked like I was asleep, then maybe they wouldn't want to wake me to give me my punishment.
After the service was over, I ran straight over to the house, got in my pajamas, and got in bed. I can't tell you how long it was before my parents got home, but by the time they did, they were either too tired or too compassionate to wake me for a punishment. (I'm going with too tired)
I've often thought back on that day and laughed at how crafty I was, even at a young age, in getting out of a punishment. But I can guarantee that my plan was the exception and not the rule.
This week in Kids Church we are talking about Noah. In the days of Noah the Bible says "...every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time." (Genesis 6:5, NIV, emphasis added) People lived any way they wanted to. It appeared there were no consequences for their evil actions. However, God was not unaware, and he did judge their sin. And this gave way to two of the saddest verses in the whole Bible.
The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, 'I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.'” Genesis 6:6-7, NIV (emphasis added)
And he did.
There was no hiding. There was no escaping. There was no room for negotiating. God judged them for their sin.
QUIT HIDING AND START FINDING
What I love most about this story is the next verse.
"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord." Gen. 6:8, NIV
This is one of the big BUTs in the Bible. (I'm sorry. I couldn't resist 🤣 I am a KIDS pastor after all.)
One man found God's favor. He wasn't hiding his sin or living his own way. He was following God. And because of this one man, God spared Noah and his family. He changed his mind about wiping all of mankind from the earth.
I would venture to say that you don't live in open sin and rebellion to God like the people of Noah's day. If I were to guess, I would say that you are a bit more careful about who knows about your sinful habits and tendencies. You may have a great way of making sure the rest of the world doesn't know the full picture.
Isn't it exhausting trying to hide things from others? Don't you get tired of spinning stories and making excuses? When King David hid his sin, he said this
"For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer." Psalm 32:3-4, ESV
And what's more is all this hiding, dodging, and conniving is useless. God already knows. He sees. He is aware of what is in your heart, your mind, and your life. He knows the thoughts and intents of your heart. There is NO HIDING from God.
So instead of hiding your sin, wouldn't it be better to start finding God's favor in your life? Noah did. In a world that was lost in sin, Noah stood out as one that God would show favor to. That's because God is merciful. God chose to offer salvation from the flood to Noah and his family, and God chose to offer salvation from sin to everyone who trusts in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
David got so tired of hiding his sin, that it was an instant relief when he confessed and repented of it.
"I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and you forgave the iniquity of my sin." Psalm 32:5-6, ESV
And you can too.
Is there a sin that you need to repent of today? Something you've been hiding from the consequences of? Trying to act like you're asleep and hoping that God is too tired to do anything about? Do something about it today.
It's time to quit hiding, and start finding God's forgiveness and favor.