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Summary: The importance of not compromising with sin

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Achan’s Fatal Mistake

Joshua 7:3-13,24-25

Primary Purpose: The importance of not compromising with sin

Last week we saw the people of God stand before their enemy and defeat them. We saw the powerful story of how God led the people of God to defeat Jericho. As they turn from this fresh victory, they turn their attention to Ai. Scripture tells us that it was east of Bethel. Apparently, it was a much smaller community, for the spies say that only a few men are there. Yet, these few men turned out to be much more trouble than all the people of Jericho. We want to look at why. (Read Scripture)

The first thing I want you to notice is what is absent. You don’t see any praying going on here. The people of God are confidence, perhaps self-confident about their success. They don’t spent the time like they did before consecrating themselves for battle. They don’t realize yet that secret sins can often creep in unaware.

In a recent survey in Discipleship Journal Magazine, readers reported that their greatest spiritual challenges came from

1. Materialism

2. Pride

3. Self-centeredness

4. Laziness

5. Anger/Bitterness (Tie)

6. Sexual Lust (Tie)

7. Envy

8. Gluttony

9. Lying

Survey respondents noted that temptations seemed more potent when they neglected their time with God and when tired physically. We are also vulnerable during these time. We can become self-confident, instead of God confident. We should be aware that we are also vulnerable to overconfidence when we experience a spiritual victory.

In the summer of 1986, two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were hurled into the icy waters below. News of the disaster was further darkened when an investigation revealed the cause of the accident. It wasn’t a technology problem like radar malfunction-or even thick fog. The cause was human stubbornness. Each captain was aware of the other ships presence nearby. Both could have steered clear, but according to news reports, neither captain wanted to give way to the other. Each was too proud to yield first. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

1. God sees their secret sins. vs.11 To most of the Israelites the cause of their failure was a complete mystery. But, I have a hard time believing that in the middle of war someone didn’t see Achan run off with bars of gold, silver and a beautiful robe. The family kept it quiet for him and suffered for it also.

Psalm 66:18 tells us that if we cherish sin in our hearts that God won’t listen to our voices, our prayers. That’s how seriously God takes sin. Maybe nobody else saw what Achan did, but God saw it. Psalm 139:3-4 says that “You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

The people were unaware of the sin, but God wasn’t and God’s didn’t say it was okay, or that it was a small sin or take it lightly.

Red Devil Tool Company of Union, N.J. has as their slogan, “It’s easy with the devil.” Of course, they are boasting that their tools transform difficult tasks into simple ones.


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