Numerous Bible characters attempted to hide from God. While this may seem surprising, as He is all-knowing and all-powerful, God uses hiding as a way of drawing people’s attention back onto themselves, repentance, and guidance.
Achan disobeyed God by breaking his command and stealing precious metals meant for the tabernacle. These actions caused great destruction on his family and thus his community as a whole.
Table of Contents
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve are revered figures in both Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions as the initial couple and parents of humanity. Prior to Adam’s fall into sin, their relationship with God was strong and open communication between the two existed freely – however after being affected by sin their interactions became less open as evidenced by Adam’s and Eve’s subsequent withdrawal. It shows just how drastically sin alters people’s lives.
As G-d approached Adam and Eve’s garden, He made His presence known through His voice and spoke directly to Adam; when Adam heard His call he quickly ran for cover because he was afraid something wrong had happened. God then asked Adam whether it had been him or Eve who had eaten from the forbidden tree; He wanted an answer as quickly as possible as He wanted salvation for all involved parties involved if either could survive.
Adam had already disobeyed God, yet still refused to accept that it was him who had eaten from the forbidden tree. Instead, he blamed his actions on Eve; thus deceiving both himself and God alike.
As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they tried to run from God. When He came looking for them, they attempted to cover themselves up with fig leaves to try to obscure themselves from His gaze; but God noticed their attempts and asked a question that required an answer from them.
Adam pointed the finger of blame at Eve for tempting Adam, but she quickly denied this accusation by twisting reality to make it appear she hadn’t ever committed sin before. For the very first time ever, humans abdicated responsibility for their choices by giving power over to an external force such as serpent.
When God heard Adam and Eve’s response, He became discontented. This was their first warning that sin can lead to death; He did not want them to perish but denied them any chance at self-save.
As punishment for their disobedience, Adam and Eve were exiled from Eden to live outside in Nod. There they gave birth to Cain; later Abel followed suit and became a farmer; both offered sacrifices to God but He only accepted Abel’s.
Elijah is one of the Old Testament’s most well-known prophets. Against tremendous odds and miraculous feats, he became an inspiration for John the Baptist to come (“Elijah must come first”). But like any biblical figure, Elijah too had moments of doubt and despair.
After an encounter on Mount Carmel, Elijah sought refuge. His antagonist was Jezebel, Queen Ahab’s wife who hated God and attempted to bring idol worship into Israel by murdering Naboth and confiscating his vineyard (1 Kings 21:23-26). When confronted by God’s prophets she killed them all off and replaced them with prophets of Baal instead (1 Kings 21:33-31).
Elijah chose Zarephath as his place of refuge when it was time for him to flee into hiding; although the road there was treacherous through the wilderness. Once there he discovered himself right where worship of Baal had begun!
Elijah made the right choice despite all obstacles by following God’s instruction. He camped near brook Cherith where ravens provided food. Additionally, he drank from its stream. However, what made Elijah truly special was how he continued serving God even after leaving Mount Carmel; eventually passing his wisdom onto new generations of prophets.
Elijah had mistakenly concluded that his failure on Mount Carmel marked his prophetic failure as an individual and prophet of God. He believed He would unleash His wrath against Israel through destructive storms, earthquakes, and fires, just like He had done previously when He sent plagues in Egypt or killed Korah’s sons with fire (Num 10:33; 1 Kings 17:24). Yet this wasn’t God’s intention – His goal was rather to show mercy and kindness towards His wayward people while showing them He remained their only true God and thus leading them closer toward repentance (Num 10:33; 1 Kings 17:24).
Gideon, one of the greatest judges from the Bible, was chosen by God to defeat an enormous enemy army with only 300 men. Though Gideon came from an ordinary family in Israel’s tribes, God chose him anyway because He wanted Gideon as a judge against Midianites who oppressed Israel. Gideon initially declined this task because of fear for his safety if Midianites tried to oppress Israel further.
Gideon had trouble trusting that God would help them, so he asked for a sign from Him.
Gideon did not specify exactly what his sign consisted of, but we can speculate that it may have involved offering food and wine as evidence that God was with them. When an angel touched it, the offering burst forth in flames – giving Gideon confidence to lead his people against Midianites with success.
As Gideon prepared his attack against Midianites, he must decide which members of his people he wanted with him. Fearful men were specifically excluded to avoid giving credit to themselves rather than God (according to Deuteronomy 20:5-8). This choice also accorded with biblical laws (Deuteronomy 20:5-8).
Gideon then used an innovative strategy for sorting his men: He spread out a fleece – an animal skin with its wool still attached – on the ground and asked God to shower dew onto it overnight, which He did. Men who lapped up this liquid would join Gideon.
Gideon overcame his fear by listening to God and doing what He asked of him – rather than listening to what the enemy wanted from him. Gideon’s story should serve as a reminder that we should never allow fearful situations prevent us from obeying Him, nor give into threats for His name sake.
The Bible is full of characters who tried to hide from God; some, such as Achan, were successful while others weren’t. Achan lived during a time when God led Israel toward their Promised Land 40 years after their Exodus from Egypt and passage through the Red Sea.
Achan was part of the Judah tribe and, specifically, its Zimri family and Zerah clan. These were prominent families that belonged to a powerful and abundant tribe like Judah.
While Achan was respected member of his community, he harbored an intense longing for things forbidden by God that ultimately drove him to steal and hide stolen goods from their rightful owners. God saw Achan’s struggle as something which demanded immediate action on His part.
God was eager to bring those responsible to justice, so He appointed Joshua the task of gathering Israel together so He could address their sin issues together. God told Joshua and the people that He would choose a tribe, then clan, family and individual within that clan that had disobeyed Him – using this method God was willing to use to expose those guilty and help bring about reconciliation between themselves and Him. This method may have seemed dramatic at times; nonetheless it served to expose those guilty with great force.
God had found Achan and decided it was necessary for Him to punish him as it would serve to remind all who defiled His name of their transgression and teach a valuable lesson.
As saddening as Achan’s story may be, his response never truly showed repentance for his sinful acts. Instead, his regret lay solely with having been caught, not an act of true repentance from sinful actions. God doesn’t require people who only acknowledge their transgressions and express regret that they were caught; He wants us to turn from them and embrace life with faith and Him!