October 19, 2023
Volume 27, Number 28
Years ago, I was officiating a wedding when a phone started ringing. Phones ringing at inappropriate times is a common phenomenon, but this phone was in the groom’s pocket! I’m not sure how much conversation this later prompted between the man and his new bride, but I’ve made it a practice to warn wedding parties to silence their phones before the ceremony begins.
On October 4 of this year, it was impossible to silence your cell phone (unless it was powered off). On that day a signal was generated by the Emergency Alert System that caused every mobile phone in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam to sound a piercing sound lasting a few seconds. This included phones in the pockets of several Amish men in various locations.
The Amish community has strict rules forbidding technology and modern conveniences. No phones are allowed (except in some instances a community phone booth). To say the least, those men affected by the Emergency Alert System were more than embarrassed. In some cases, they were officially “shunned” from their fellowship. The phones they had obtained secretly were revealed.
When Israel first entered Canaan, the city of Jericho looked as if it could not be conquered. Yet with God’s help the city’s walls simply fell, and the Israelite army easily won the battle. The next city on the route, Ai, appeared to be a far easier task, but it didn’t work out that way. 36 men were struck down, and the smaller city put the Israelites on the run. God told Joshua that sin was in the camp.
A man named Achan was identified as having taken spoil from Jericho, an action God had specifically forbidden. Joshua confronted Achan with these words: “… tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me” (Joshua 7:19). Achan realized his sin had been revealed, and he pointed to the goods he had hidden away. His “secret” had come to light.
It was not long before the defeat at Ai that some of the people of Israel asked Moses’ permission to settle outside the boundaries of the Promised Land. They promised to help their Israelite brethren in the battles to capture territory inside the boundaries. Moses approved their request, but with this warning: “But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Deuteronomy 32:23).
“Be sure your sin will find you out” is a valuable principle to engrave on our hearts. People often think they can hide their indiscretions; “no one will ever know”. With people that may indeed be true; no one will ever know what we have done. But what about God’s knowledge of our actions or thoughts?
The last verse of the book of Ecclesiastes makes the point simply: “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). That sin you tucked into a private place, convinced that no one would ever find out about it? One day the signal will be sent, and that sin will find us out. Sin cannot be concealed from God!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
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Copyright, 2023, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
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