Summary: It only takes one to make it bad for the whole group.

Sermon Text: Joshua 7:1-26

Sermon Type: Narrative

Sermon Title One bad apple spoils the whole bunch

Biblical Problem: Achan coveted and did not obey the Lord; causing the death of soldiers as well as his family.

Biblical Solution: Repentance Purging, and obedience bring about restoration.

Contemporary Problem: As a nation we are an covetous people, bring about our destruction

Contemporary Solution: Repentance and returning to God will bring about restoration.

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch

My name is Caleb, I have been with the children of Israel for sometime now. I am a child born in the wilderness just like our leader Joshua. I have been taught from young of how God has delivered this people, my people from the bondage in Egypt with mighty works and brought us to this place. Right now we are on the other side of the Jordan, in the Promised Land. God has promised this land to our Father Abraham and all his descendants, of which I am one. Many things happened on this journey, some were good, like the walls of Jericho falling down, the Jordan parting so we could cross, like manna and quail coming from the sky to feed us. But some of the things that happened were not all that good. Some time ago there was a man named Achan, he was the son of Zimri of the tribe of Judah. He was with us when we, with the Lord’s help, took Jericho. The Lord had ordered all of us not to take any plunder, all was to be devoted to the Lord. Achan did not obey this command, he took a beautiful Babylonian robe as well as a wedge of gold weighing about fifty shekels and tow hundred shekels of silver. To this day I am not sure what Achan was thinking, would not God give us all we need if we obey him, why did he have to take those devoted things. No one except maybe his family knew what Achan had done.

Later Joshua sent some men out to spy on Ai. They came back with the report that we only needed to send a portion of the army. So Joshua sent out three thousand men to take Ai. The report that came back was terrifying, thirty six men were killed by those of Ai, their army chased our army to the stone quarry and struck them down on the slopes. Why what has happened ? the people asked, some wondered where was the Lord during all this, did He lead us this way to destroy us.? This was very terrifying to us.

Joshua, along with myself and the other elders tore our clothes and sprinkled dust on our heads mourning and throwing ourselves facedown before the ark of the LORD.

Joshua cried out “Why Sovereign Lord did you bring us across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? He lamented “If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan, Lord what can I say now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? Now they will hear about this and unite, surrounding us and then wiping us out. What then will you do for your own great name?” With that the LORD ordered Joshua to stand and he did, as did the rest of us. The Lord then told us that Israel has sinned, they have violated His covenant and had taken for themselves some of the devoted things. Because of this sin Israel will not be able to stand against her enemies. Then the Lord said “I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” Well now all we had to do was find out who took the devoted things, destroy it and all will be well, right? It wasn’t going to be that easy. The LORD said “In the morning present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes shall come forward clan by clan: the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man. He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel. I can remember shaking in fear at this. What a harsh sentence to the guilty one. I the Lord doing something just like this at the Mountain of the LORD when Moses went up to receive the Law from the LORD, all the camp had sinned and created an idol to worship. Moses came down and saw this and he was angry with Aaron and the people. He stood at the entrance of the camp and said “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me” all the Levites came to him. Moses then told them to take their sword and go through the people from on end to the camp to the other and kill brother, neighbor, and friend. On that day about 3 thousand people died. This was not going to be any different.

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