Summary: This message looks at Achan’s sin and examines the costs of our sins
So far it had been a cakewalk. After wandering in the desert for forty years the people of Israel have finally been allowed to enter into the Promised Land and their entrance has been accompanied by miracle after miracle. And I don’t mean little piddling little miracles; I mean great big whopping miracles.
The first obstacle that they have to overcome is the Jordon River, now during the dry months the Jordon isn’t much of an obstacle, we’re not talking the Saint Lawrence River here we talking wade across in parts. From the report we have though it would appear that this didn’t happen during the dry months, instead it was early in the spring after the snow had melted in the mountains and the freshet had turned the normally placid Jordon into a major hurdle. Added to that was that the King of Jericho had sent soldiers to guard the shallow areas where the Hebrews might be able to cross.
And so God gives instructions to Joshua and Joshua gives instructions to the people. He tells them to simply follow the priests, “Trust them” he says, “They will show you the way.
Then Joshua goes the priests and tells them to pick a member from each of the twelve tribes to carry the Ark of the Covenant (Which of course you remember from Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark.) “In this way” he says “We will be lead into the Promised Land by the promises of God himself.”
I’m sure that at that point one of the twelve put up his hand and said “Are you going to tell us where the bridge is or at least where the rocks are?” And Joshua seeking to reassure them says “No problem, when you get to the edge of the river just wade right in and everything else will take care of itself. No, really it will, God told me that as soon as you step into the river it will be cut off upstream and pile up in a heap and you’ll walk across on dry land.”
“Ok, let’s see if we have this right, we step into the river and God cuts the flow off upstream and piles the river up in a heap and we walk across on dry land.”
“Basically that’s it” replied Joshua and probably the twelve called a union meeting, put their heads together and then asked “What’s the other plan? You do have another plan don’t you?” They are carrying a box with a whole bunch of stuff including two stone tablets and Joshua wants them to go white water rafting, without the raft. And he didn’t have another plan but he didn’t need another plan because that was God’s plan.
Well you know the story they come to the Jordon River and they wade right in and the river stops, I mean it just stops; it was as if God put his hand down and dammed the river up. The priests walk across on dry land and then they are followed by everyone else. That’s cool.
Their next stop is the City of Jericho and they figure they haven’t got a chance. I mean realistically think about it, regardless of how many Israelites there were after wandering around in the desert for forty years they were no army. They were basically Nomads who had spent forty years trying to survive in a desert where they had no business being. Sure there were lots of them, and that was a threat in itself, but Jericho was this huge fortified city. Big walls, big gates lots of guards, the whole bit. So what’s the plan?
And so God gives instructions to Joshua and Joshua gives instructions to the people. This is what he told them: I want seven priests to walk in front of the Ark of the Covenant playing rams horns. The rest of the people are to follow quietly, don’t shout don’t sing don’t even speak. March around the city once and then come back to the camp.
And I’m sure that some guy in the back put up his hand and said “Is that the entire plan?”
“No” replied Joshua, “We are going to do that for six days, and then on the seventh day we are going to march around the city 7 times on the seventh time around the city there will be one long blast on the horns then I want everyone to shout and the walls will come falling down.”
And I’m pretty sure that someone asked, “Ok, so what’s your other plan?” to which Joshua answered “There is no other plan.” Well it worked before so let’s try it again, and they did. And guess what? On the seventh day on the seventh trip around the temple when the seven priests blew on their seven horns guess what happened? The walls fell down. And he didn’t have another plan but he didn’t need another plan because that was God’s plan.