Summary: Further studies in Achans sin

Study 10

Achan’s Sin (3)


The poet wrote

Sin, like a bee, into the hive will bring

A little honey, but expect a sting

He was expressing in verse a truth which is re-iterated time and time again in the Bible both in statement and by example, the truth that whilst sin might bring with it pleasures of a sort, you can be sure that it will also always bring pain.

The fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil may well have tasted beautiful and brought a measure of pleasure and satisfaction to Adam & Eve as its juices fell upon their palate, but the sweet taste of that fruit but oh how bitter was the after taste as they were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, separated from that wonderful fellowship with God that they had enjoyed and became subject to death.

The friends and the feasting and the fornicating and the fun that the prodigal son enjoyed as he lived life to the full in the ways of sin, were but a distant fading memory which rather than easing the pain of his subsequent misery in the pig-sty only served to intensify it.

Whilst many a man has found sensual pleasure in the adulterous embrace of his mistress the pleasure is considerably if not totally forgotten in the painful repercussions that follows its discovery.

Solomon wrote “my son…the lips of an adulteress drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is as bitter as gall, sharp as a double edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lead straight to the grave…can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned…”

Many an alcoholic has enjoyed the taste of the booze he has consumed but oh the pain and misery such sin brings in its wake

“Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper…”

Sin, like a bee, into the hive will bring

A little honey, but expect a sting

The battle of Jericho is over, the enemy have been overthrown, the victory has been gained, Israel has triumphed. The spoils of war are being gathered to be taken into the treasury of the Lord as He had directed, but look there is a man running unnoticed back to his tent with something hidden under his outer garments. When he reaches his tent and goes inside he pulls out from beneath his tunic some of the spoils of the battle which he is going to keep for himself. A little investment for the future. He swears his family to secrecy, digs a hole and buries the treasure. Little did he realise it at the time but along with the treasure he also brought trouble. The wealth of Jericho was hidden in his tent, but the wrath of God was hanging over his tent.

Sin, like a bee, into the hive will bring

A little honey, but expect a sting

Last week we spent our time looking at The Successive Steps of Achan’s Sin. We saw how it began with his Gaze- The Look of the Eyes; It then proceeded to his Greed – the Lust of the Heart, Then Came the Grasp – The Consent of the Will; and this was followed by His Guile – the Deceitfulness of His life.

This evening we want to bring our study on this seventh chapter to a close by considering three other aspects of Achan’s sin. And the first thing we want to notice this evening is

2) The Aggravated Guilt of Achan’s Sin

Those of you who are familiar with or have read through the Westminster Shorter Catechism will have come across question 83 which reads “Are all transgressions of the Law equally heinous?” To which the answer is given “some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.” And if we take time to think about Achan’s sin and the circumstances surrounding it we will see that there were a number of things which aggravated his guilt. What were these things? Well in the first place their was

(i) The Occasion of It:

When did Achan commit this sin? He committed it at a time when He together with the nation had just begun to enter into a new era of their life as the people of God, a time when the faithlessness and failures of the past were being put behind them and they were seeking to go forward in obedience to God. Only just over a week or so earlier Achan together with the rest of the people had publicly rededicated themselves to God when having experienced that miraculous crossing of the Jordan on dry ground and set foot in the land of promise they renewed their covenant with God as the men submitted to the rite of circumcision. Achan was one of that company. He went forward and received the mark of the Covenant on his body. And yet within a matter of days of that public identification of himself as a child of God, and of his rededication of his life submit to, obey and glorify God, he commits this terrible sin.

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