HIDDEN GOLD AND A HIDDEN DEED
An Inner Voice Speaks of Hidden Secrets
YEARS ago a young man hid a five-dollar gold piece from a woman he worked for. He was taking her to church with a horse and buggy, and when they arrived at the church house she stepped out of the buggy and dropped this five-dollar gold piece on the ground. This young man saw it; and instead of handing it to her, he put his “number ten” shoe on top of it and hid it from her.
As the years passed he became a drunkard and sinned more and more; but one day he prayed and the Lord took all his sins away. He did not drink any more, he did not steal any more, and he did not lie any more – but there was one thing still wrong. One thing bothered him yet. That was the five-dollar gold piece he had not returned to the woman. Every time he tried to pray he could see that five-dollar piece before him.
One night he heard a preacher declare that the Bible says a person must pay back anything he has stolen or wrongfully taken. Paying for stolen goods or taking them back is called restitution. Something within his heart seemed to tell him he would never be happy and he could never please God if he did not make that restitution.
After church that night he climbed into his buggy and started for home. He was driving a mule, and as the old mule’s hoofs hit the macadam road they seemed to say, “Make restitution – make restitution – make restitution.” For five miles that mule’s hoofs seemed to preach restitution to him. When he arrived home he was so glad he could put the mule in the barn and go to bed so he would not hear that word “restitution” any more.
He went to bed, but an inner voice – his conscience – spoke to him about the stolen money; and as he tossed and turned on his bed that night the bedsprings seemed to squeak out the word “res-ti-tu-tion!” every time he turned over. He began to pray to the Lord and told Him that if He would let him live till morning he would make restitution. Then he went to sleep.
He did not wait for breakfast the next morning but traveled five miles behind his mule to the lady’s home. He knocked at her door. When she answered he said, “Here is five dollars I owe you.” He told her the story about hiding the money under his shoe. He not only received her forgiveness and blessing but God’s blessing as well.
Our conscience is faithful to us and if we obey that Inner Voice we will receive God’s blessing; and if we do not obey we will someday, at the Judgment Bar of God, meet the wrongs we have done. A record is kept in Heaven of all our good deeds and our bad deeds, too.
Hidden Among the Trees
Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, and God told them not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. But the serpent came into the Garden and tempted them to eat that fruit. They listened to the serpent and believed him instead of God. God had been coming into the Garden in the cool of the evening to talk with them, but now they were ashamed to meet God and wanted to hide from Him. They hid among the trees, but soon they heard God’s voice. They could not hide from Him.
“They heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” God called to Adam and said, “Where art thou?” Adam answered, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, . . . and I hid myself.” God asked, “Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Adam did not want to admit he had sinned or that he was to blame. He blamed his sin on Eve; and Eve blamed her part of the sin on the serpent. Some people like to do that – always blame someone else for the wrongs they do. But God punished both Adam and Eve for their sin. God’s eye watches everywhere. He saw them and knew what they did and why they did it. He saw them standing there listening to the serpent and believing him instead of obeying the voice of God and their own conscience. Their sin forever shut them out of the Garden. Sin shuts people out of Heaven and also brings a curse on them here.
Feeling the Sting
Small sins and big sins are hideous in the sight of God, whether it be a mean word, an evil thought, or a wicked deed. They are all sins. And when you sin, God will let you know that you have sinned.
If you tell a lie your heart condemns you. You feel a sting down in your heart. When you take something that does not belong to you, you know your heart beats faster, and you feel a guilty sting down deep in your heart. When you disobey your parents the sting of remorse strikes your heart. You do not feel right when you disobey. That is the voice of God speaking to you. God has put that little voice within every heart, even in the smallest child, and it speaks to you when you do anything wrong. If you stop and listen, it will tell you the right thing to do so you will not need to do bad deeds. You will stay out of trouble if you will obey that conscience God has given you.
Just stop and pray, when you are tempted to sin, and God will bless you and keep you from sin. Ask the person you have wronged to forgive you. Ask God to forgive you and clear your conscience before God and the one you have wronged. Jesus came to save us from our sins, and we will not sin so long as we are saved; but if we lose Jesus out of our heart and sin and disobey, we can confess our sin and ask forgiveness. “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). Get saved and keep saved while you are young.
“For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad” (Luke 8:17).