Summary: Careful what you hoard or desire unless you are a hindrance to victory instead of part of the victory.
Joshua 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.
20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:
21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
You should read the whole story of Jericho and Ai, but the issue here is that Achan took gold and silver which was to be God's and a royal robe representing the things of world that were to be destroyed though beautiful and appealing.
That is the problem with many of us Christians. We have hoarded money that belongs to God. When people want to argue about the tithe with me I wonder why. Unless you are suggesting more than 10% I will not listen. Indeed, it would be wonderful if we could get to the point where we are are giving 90% and living off of 10% like R. G. LeTourneau.
I want to ask the ones who are so het up over the tithe how much they give. If less than 10% then I understand the hang up. All I know is that I did not start to prosper until I started tithing. It's in the Book and He blessed me for doing it so no argument from me.
In the passage, they were not allowed to have any of the wealth because taking the land was not about acquiring someone else's wealth. That is just the standard way of mankind since the Fall. God was raising up a people that would He would make prosperous in the land, but He did not want them to focus on worldly wealth, but rather that they belonged to Him and everything was His and He would give what they needed after they gave Him the glory, gratitude and the first fruit. A tithe, if you will.
Destroying everything else showed that rest of the land's inhabitants that this was no ordinary warfare keeping the spoils of war. It is also teaching His people to not covet what the world can give be it cattle, beautiful attire or whatever. These things were not to be in His people.
We have changed what separation means and have watered down holiness. We tend to misuse grace and mercy so that we can get what we want to consume our lusts and be friends with the World which James says is committing adultery against God and making Him our enemy. Hence many Christians and churches do not prosper. Some may look prosperous, but like Laodicea they are spiritually poor and naked. It is why we are not impacting the World because it has impacted us.
Many of us have gone into the world adopting many of their practices, language and attire to attract the world to Christ when He said to come out from among them and pull them out of the fire, not dance in the fire with them. Never would I have ever thought a popular pastor would be cursing in the pulpit when I was a lost kid kind of attending a UM Church.
Before the theologians jump in my case, yes, Paul and Jude wrote those things, but they are also Christ's words since He through the Holy Spirit inspired them to write those things. Indeed, trying to appease the culture we have also challenged Paul, as did the Corinthians, doubting and denying some of his teachings.
That is much like the Israelites who incorporated pagan teachings and rituals into what God commanded and redefined things like the Pharisees which often leads to Sadducees who believe nothing, but like the titles and position that religion gives them.
Rather than browbeating the sinners for being who they are, we need to be honest and cleanse ourselves. We need to purge ourselves of the world and give God not just the treasure that is His, but also our time and talent as all of it is His. We are not set free to do our will, but to do His will which we were not able to do before we were free.
Let us dress ourselves in the armor of God and His righteous rather than the fads of this world which are normally designed for immodesty or for pride. We would do better to look to the Amish or Mennonites for style than to Cosmo or Paris. Better to have the World to know who we are by sight than think we are one of them.
Lord, revive us! Purge Your people and use us to bring people to You! May we see Your power and glory in the earth as is Your will! Maranatha!