Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the Lord. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you. — Joshua 6-7
As we boarded our return flight, I began to process the rest of the realities of getting home.
Land in next airport, transfer to next plane, land, get luggage, take shuttle to car, drive home.
“Drive home”, I thought again.
“I need the key. Where’s the key?” I asked myself and then my sweetheart and then my kids.
We all took turns scouring my briefcase.
No key. I prayed. We all prayed.
It turns out God cares about keys.
Deep in the recesses of my suitcase, hidden at the very bottom of my toiletry bag — the key.
Joshua had a problem on his hands.
He didn’t even know it until they lost a battle, badly.
He and the other leaders fell on their face before God for hours.
The Lord told him what the problem was. Something was hidden. Something that rightfully belonged to God had been stolen, hidden and then lied about in an attempted cover-up.
Victory would elude the people of Israel until the wrong that was done was made right.
The hidden must be exposed.
The hider? Well, let’s just say it didn’t end well.
Hiding is a problem we all have to confront.
We keep things hidden for any number of reasons.
We’re embarrassed. We’re attempting to meet a real need in a wrong way. We’re convinced the ends justify the means.
The truth, however, is that nothing is truly hidden.
We know. Others probably know.
Certainly, God knows.
O, may this truth guide our steps!
“If we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his son, cleanses us from all our sins.”
“Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then, come follow me.” But when the man heard this, he became very sad, for he was very rich. …Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” — Luke 18:18-25; Luke 19:1-10
It was more than a little hard to watch. The man was truly broken up.
On the show, people bring all these different items to the pawn shop to sell looking to get a few bucks out of their “treasure.”
Sometimes, they do. Other times, like this one, not so much.
The man had paid a great deal of money for this autographed whatever with papers of authenticity and everything. He was shocked to discover the whole thing was forgery. His treasure was worth absolutely nothing.
In the stories for today, Jesus ran into two wealthy men.
One of them came looking for eternal life or, more accurately, to be affirmed in his own self-righteousness.
He appears to be genuinely restless in his spirit. Jesus quickly led him to the real problem. He loved his money and wouldn’t give it up.
The second one came looking for Jesus. He was not going to be denied.
“Just a glimpse” he must have thought as he climbed the tree. In being recognized and welcomed by Jesus, he couldn’t give his money away fast enough.
We all have treasures. Our hearts have an established, “I will never part with this!”
Chances are there’s more than one in there, isn’t there?
Zacchaeus made a quick but accurate calculation. Money and all it provided was absolutely nothing compared to knowing and loving Jesus.
Typically, our hearts lean toward that which we are trusting in for security and significance.
Is there honestly anything more secure than an eternal relationship with Jesus?
Is there truly anything more significant than being a child of God?