Summary: Achan discovered the reality that sin has no hiding place and carries with it dire consequences not only for the offender but that are widespread. One man’s sin can destroy a family, a church, and even a nation.
No Hiding Place – Joshua 7:1-12
Introduction: The actions of a few can have positive or negative consequences for hundreds. This is powerfully illustrated in the life of a man named Achan. His attitude may have been the same as many today: what I do is nobody’s business but mine. Achan discovered the reality that sin has no hiding place and carries with it dire consequences not only for the offender but that are widespread. One man’s sin can destroy a family, a church, and even a nation.
I. The Enticement of Sin
A. Joshua 7:21a “When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them.”
B. He was enticed by a beautiful cloak or robe of Shinar. Shinar was known for its gorgeous brilliant and assorted colored interwoven and embroidered robes which resembled those of modern Turkish carpet; he also was enticed by five pounds of silver and a 1.25 pound gold ingot.
C. Sin always presents itself as beautiful, pleasurable, gratifying, harmless, justifiable and desirable.
D. Note the temptation of…
1. Eve – “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. (Genesis 3:6)
2. David – “Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king's house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman [was] very beautiful to behold.” (2 Samuel 11:2)
3. Moses – “choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25)
E. Greek mythology tells of seductive sea nymphs called sirens whose sweet singing lured seamen to destruction on the rocks surrounding their island. A similar story in German mythology tells about the Lorelei, Rhine River maidens whose singing lured sailors toward rocks on the river bank that would wreck their ships. Today we are far too clever to be taken in by myths of water nymphs; yet we, like the sailors, are in danger of being lured off the course we accepted when we gave our lives to Christ. What enticements call you to abandon you Christian stance? Perhaps your seduction is a yearning to be rich and famous. Maybe you long to appear intellectual or to get ahead in your job or career. Maybe you cave in to family pressure or to fit into an admired social group. Maybe you’re drawn to the lure of getting high or the warmth of intoxication. Maybe you hunger after forbidden fruit or desire a little excitement in your life. Whatever causes you to deny the truth of Jesus Christ or to wander from the course than Christ has set for you is your siren song. - adapted
F. James 1:14 “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."
G. The allurements of the world and the attractiveness of sin do not make it any less ugly in the sight of the holy Lord God.
H. "Sin is like alcoholism. Sinners are never cured; they simply decide to stop sinning ... and it's a daily decision." — John Fischer
II. The Deception of Sin
A. Joshua 7:21b “When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
B. Think of how Achan must have rationalized his sin: "No one will know." "These things won't be missed." “It’s no big deal”. "Just think of how good I will look.” “I'll be the most admired person when I wear this beautiful Babylonian garment." "I'm not hurting anyone." "I deserve this." “I can keep it my little secret.” The excuses can go on and on, but they all fall short.
C. Hebrews 3:12-13 “Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God, But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”.
D. On Monday, July 20, 1998, fire broke out aboard the Carnival Ecstasy Cruise Ship off the coast of Miami. Television stations carried the drama live, even making contact with some of the passengers via cellular telephones. At one point, passenger George Gonzales, on live television, told WSVN-TV anchorman Rick Sanchez, "I think they've gotten control of it." Sanchez, who could see on camera what the passengers could not see, knew that the flames were still raging on the ship. "No, George," Sanchez replied. "I'm sorry to tell you the fire is still burning." There are a lot of people today who believe that they've got everything under control. But unless the Spirit has taken control of their lives, the fire is still burning. – Barry L. Davis, the "Pastor's Helper"