Hidden Errors

Sunday, October 16, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

The Bed Bugs

Following the writing from this morning, “Confession,” the Lord Jesus has been giving me some additional insights into the reason for the bed bugs, but also what they symbolically represent in all of our lives.

I believe that bed bugs represent hidden sins in our lives, either secret sins which we are willfully committing and are purposefully hiding from view, or sins we don’t realize are in our lives, like wrong attitudes or incorrect values or mistaken priorities. We may miss them because we are overlooking the cues, or because we are distracted and we just don’t see them, because bugs are very good at hiding from view. I can vouch for that!

Like the psalmist David said, “Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults” (Ps. 19:12). The Pulpit Commentary says it this way: “Who can understand his errors? rather, who can discern (or, perceive) his errors? i.e. all of them. Who will not overlook some, try as he may to search out his heart? Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Those which are hidden from me, which I cannot discern” (Source: http://www.biblehub.com).

The Problem Spreads

I reported the bed bugs a week ago this past Wednesday, but the exterminators won’t be able to be here until this Thursday, so it will be 2 weeks between the date of the reporting of them until we have our first treatment for them. One of my concerns with that is that when we first got them, the problem was minor, but as time elapses, and they are left untreated, the problem begins to grow, and they lay more eggs, and the eggs hatch, and then they spread to even more hiding places. And, of course, we get bitten even more, and there is more of a potential that we may unknowingly infect others, i.e. they were in my hair, for instance.

Well, that is the way it is with sin, too, even if we are not consciously aware that we are sinning against God, which I believe is possible. The longer we take to identify and treat the sins, the more they can spread and find new hiding places, and they will be hidden from our view. And, the more damage (bites) they can cause in our lives and in the lives of others, too. The Bible often referred to this problem in the church as yeast that grows and infects the whole body if left unchecked and untreated. So, they were warned to get rid of the old yeast so that it doesn’t grow and infect other people, too.

Due Diligence

My husband and I have shown due diligence in getting rid of these bugs, using what resources we have been encouraged to use in this apartment building. For one, we were encouraged to strip our bed of all bedding and pillows and to wash them and/or to dry them on high heat, because this will kill the bugs, and then to also wash and dry on high heat our clothing we wear each day and to not put worn clothing back into closets and dresser drawers until they have been washed and dried on high heat. This means more work for us, obviously, but we have been trying to do what we can to eradicate the problem.

We were also encouraged to do a thorough job of vacuuming all furniture, floor boards and all carpet in the apartment, as well as to spray alcohol on bugs or on nests, or where we think the bugs or eggs are hiding, as well as to sprinkle baby (talc) powder throughout the apartment, but especially on base boards, particularly on those walls connecting adjacent apartments. The bugs will die if they inhale the talc powder, evidently. And, we were also encouraged to do a thorough job of checking for the bugs, examining all the furniture and possible hiding places. This produced several bugs and eggs which we were then able to kill.

We were also inspired to let our neighbors know of the problem, so that they could be on the lookout for these bugs, too, and hopefully prevent an infestation in their apartments. So, we did that, as well.

Now, what if we all showed the same diligence in eradicating sin from our lives as we did in trying to eliminate these bugs from our home? And, I am not talking about just conscious sins, but those we are not aware of for whatever reason, and maybe because we didn’t act on them the first time we saw them, and so they were able to slip by unnoticed until they came out and bit us or someone else with whom we came in contact. What if we all examined our lives with such preciseness and due diligence in looking for hidden sins, not obsessively, and not to the point to where we are no longer trusting or resting in our Lord, but in an act of good conscience toward God? And, then, when we discovered where they were hiding, what if we took the necessary steps to eradicate them from our lives, and to clean the junk out of our hearts that is hindering our obedience to Christ?

And, what if we then told our neighbors about these bugs (sins) that can get into their lives, too, if they don’t first of all report (confess) the problem to God so that he can apply the remedy for putting these bugs (sins) to death in our lives? What if we told our neighbors about their sin problem and how Jesus died on a cross to save us from our sins, and how they can have their bugs eradicated if they will apply the necessary treatment (Christ’s blood) to their lives? And, what if we warned our fellow Christians of the dangers of how sin spreads from person to person, and the many ways these “bugs” can infect our lives if we don’t show due diligence, not only in eradicating the ones we know of, but in using preventative measures to keep new bugs (sins) from creeping into our lives unnoticed until they jump out and bite us?

This is what we need to do as individuals and as the church, in particular here in America where I live, and where I know a large portion of the church is bug (sin) infested and is in need of an exterminator to treat the problem. In other words, the church needs Jesus to do what is necessary to get the attention of the church body by exposing their sin problem, and then by applying the necessary treatment to get rid of the bugs (sins), which he may do via his divine discipline and correction in our lives.

The Haircut

When I realized that an egg had hatched in my head full of hair, I had my husband spray my hair to death with hairspray (alcohol), which should have then killed any remaining eggs or nymphs. Then I shampooed and cut my hair, as we would never have been able to locate the eggs and nymphs in my thick head of hair, as it was. I don’t like my hair this short, as I believe a woman’s hair is her glory (1 Co. 11:15), and that short hair is a sign of disgrace or shame (1 Co. 11:6), though I don’t take this to the degree that maybe some do, as I kept my hair always above my shoulders. I do like to look feminine, so I prefer longer hair, but this will have to do for now.

What came to mind with this, in relation to the bugs, though, and the thought of short hair being a symbol of shame and disgrace, is that I had to cut my hair because it was infested with bugs, and bugs representing sin would thus lead to the idea of shame and disgrace, too. In other words, when our sins are exposed we may suffer shame and disgrace. Actually, going along with this, there is much shame associated with the idea of even having bed bugs. People may naturally assume that you brought these on yourself because of bad health habits, but that isn’t true across the board. But, we should feel shame when we sin and/or when our sins are exposed, and that should lead us to have broken and contrite hearts and to call on God to cleanse us, to heal us, and to change us even more into his likeness.

The other part of this is that I had to cut something out of my life which was my glory, i.e. my beautiful hair. When God cleanses us from sin, he doesn’t just forgive us, but he says to “go and sin no more,” and then he helps us to not sin anymore. All resolution for sin comes from God alone.

Part of that process involves cutting out of our lives anything which is hindering us or is leading us into sin or that has become our idol (our glory) instead of God being our glory. Hair also represents authority over the head of a woman, so cutting hair could also have to do with cutting out other gods which are in authority over our heads crowding out Jesus as our only Lord (owner-master). I believe that in the church this will be exercised via divine discipline of God in that he will cut out much human authority which is leading God’s people astray and away from their pure devotion to Christ. He will remove them so that his people will return to HIM as their only Lord.

Have Thine Own Way, Lord / Adelaide A. Pollard, 1862-1934
George C. Stebbins, 1846-1945 / Tune: ADELAIDE, Meter: 54.54 D

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

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