Summary: Dealing with sin properly in our lives


JOSHUA 7:1-26

INTRODUCTION... Drama Presented by the Youth Group: “Achan,”


A. Verse 1: Achan stole from God those things from Jericho, which were dedicated to

Him. There was no mistake. Everyone knew no plunder was to be taken from Jericho.

1) Deuteronomy 5:19 states “you shall not steal.”

2) Romans 13:9 sums up the law by commanding us to “Love your neighbor as


a) Achan was not loving his neighbors because they would suffer for what

he had done and he already knew this.

b) Achan was putting himself before God and was not taking into

consideration the commands God had laid down about these articles.

B. Verse 11: Achan stole the now sacred articles and put them among his own

possessions. He also deceived the people by not revealing that he had done it. This was

a secret sin.

C. Verse 21: Achan himself describes his sin as covetousness. He wanted what others

had and he went so far as to take it.

D. Achan broke the covenant the people of Israel had with God. The covenant was a

trust relationship that Israel would obey the Lord and He would give them victory. It was

a give and take relationship, but Achan sought only to take and not to give. The covenant

was broken—as evidence by the defeat by Ai.

1) Achan’s was not a public sin. Some sins are more public than others: an

empty bank account, a STD, an illegitimate child, a partner of the same sex – are

all evidences of sin that we can see.

2) Achan’s was a private or secret sin. There was no outward sign that he had

done this. Many of us are fortunate that most of our sins are private. We do not

have to face others eye to eye with them seeing our sin. Perhaps there should be

more grace given by us to those whose sin is found out… God knows the plethora

of my secret sin!


A. Achan chose to hide his sin and hope that no one noticed. I am going to assume that

his family knew and that they chose to keep quiet as well. They chose to keep the theft a

secret. If they were keeping it a secret, they surely were not confessing it to God.

B. Because of Achan’s sin, the Lord was not with Israel when they went up to fight Ai.

The soldiers of Israel were routed and struck down. The morale of the people also sank

because they had lost! What happened!!? Those soldiers’ death was on Achan’s head.

C. Verses 24-26 tell us because of Achan’s sin, he and his whole family were taken out

of the camp and stoned to death. Not only that, but they were burned and buried.

1) You may ask, why did all of that happen?

2) The answer is that when sin occurs, it requires payment in death. We look

back on this with Jesus’ death in mind paying for our sin, but Achan and his

family paid themselves for their sins.


A. The proper way to deal with sin can be seen in the example of Joshua in verses 6-9

and 22-26.

B. Verses 6-9 = before the sin was known, discovering the sin

1) Act of humility and sorrow: tore his clothes and put ashes on his head. He did

so because he sought an audience with God to communicate with Him. He knew

that something had changed with the relationship between God and Israel.

2) Spoke honestly: Joshua wanted to know what happened and knew that the

people of Israel would be wiped out if it continued.

3) God answered and told him what was wrong.

C. Verses 22-26 = after the sin was known, dealing with the sin

1) The articles that were stolen were found and were removed from Achan’s tent.

This was the first step in making the covetousness and theft right.

2) Joshua was told to destroy the sin among them (verse 12). He took all

involved and the items that had been stolen. They took all of this outside the camp of Israel and destroyed it.

a) Joshua got rid of the items that had been the temptation.

b) Achan and his family paid the price.

D. Dealing with sin properly in our lives

1) Act humbly before God and seek an audience with Him to discover the sin if

we do not know it.

2) Be honest, for God already knows your heart.

3) Destroy that in your life which is sinful. Get rid of it!

a) Perhaps a friendship or relationship should be ended

b) Maybe you need to place restrictions on where you go

c) Maybe you need self-imposed limits