“If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away,
And do not let wickedness dwell in your tents.” NASB
“And give up your sins– even those you do in secret.” CEV
“When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong.”
Eccl. 8:11, NIV
We know it, deep inside of us. Our sin and iniquity, those things that stick to us, must be renounced and stripped away. I think it’s interesting that Job is working from the assumption that each of us has sin issues. I don’t think scripture is ever really shocked by the depth of our iniquity. We are sinners, and we will sin, but the Holy Spirit is never surprised or caught off guard by our sin and deceit. But we are, most certainly guilty.
This verse in Job emphasizes “renunciation”. That means relinquishing or repudiating the evil that we love doing. I think that in Job’s thinking it means abandoning our sinfulness. We are to let it go, releasing it to the grace of God. We are not to sin in secret.
We privatize our favorite sins to make ourselves acceptable. I think that this is a truism: “We care more for what people think of us, then what God thinks of us.” Our sin thrives in solitude, its like a warm and humid greenhouse for our evil. Secretiveness just causes it to grow, our hiddenness is “Miracle Grow” for our darkness and ugliness.
Job is very much concerned I think, by the contagiousness that sin has. We transmit the sin virus to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we have a hidden darkness, we will most certainly sicken those we touch. Our Churches have been decimated by private and hidden sin. I’m thing of Achan in Joshua 7. He secretly desired nice things, and it destroyed him and his family.
What judgement will you bring on to your loved ones, and your church? What are you hiding? Often, I have heard questions like that, and it temporarily moves me. But it seems the change is not permanent (I desperately wish it was.) But I suggest that you go into your “tent” and bring your deceitfulness out into the full light of day. And then, put it to a merciless death.