Summary: It’s a dangerous thing to have hidden sin in the church.


A) There is nothing so damaging, nothing so hurtful as when a person, especially a Christian,

is living in sin!

* This morning we’re going to see what happened to the nation of Israel as the result of one man’s

disobedience to the Lord.

* Moses has now died and Joshua has taken over ... And it is his task now to lead the nation of

Israel over Jordan into the land of Canaan.

B) After Israel had defeated Jericho, God gave them explicit instructions to not take any of the

city’s riches, but to leave everything behind!

* Not long after, Joshua, the Israelite leader, sent spies to scope out the next city of war, Ai.

* The spies returned and said that they would need very few men to beat such a weak city as Ai.

* So Joshua sent only a few thousand men to fight.

C) The men of Ai killed 36 of the Israelite men and chased the rest away!

* Joshua was heart broken ... He tore his clothes and fell to the earth in front of the Ark of the

Covenant (v.6).

* Joshua asked God why He would allow the Israelites to pass through the Jordan, defeat Jericho,

and then be beaten by a small and insignificant city like Ai!

D) God’s answer was simple ... There was sin in the camp – v.11!

* One of the Israelite men named Achan had ignored God’s command to leave everything behind

in Jericho and had taken of the “accursed thing” and put it among his own stuff.

* The name Achan comes from the Hebrew word that means “one who troubles.”

* And did he ever bring trouble to Joshua and all of Israel!

E) The blessing of God had left the camp because of the harboring of sin!

* Subsequently the army failed in its mission because it lacked the power of God it held when it

had defeated Jericho.

* Achan was forced to confess his sin, and was then taken along with his family and all of his

flocks and herds, and stoned to death. * An amazing story, to say the least!

F) One might even go as far as to say that the story shows that God is unfair!

* They might say that Achan’s punishment did not really fit his crime.

* But I want you to consider this today ... Because of Achan’s sin, thirty-six men died.

* Thirty-six sets of children lost their fathers…Thirty-six mothers lost their sons…

* Thirty-six wives became widows.

G) The story of Achan truly points out the destructive power of sin!

* It also uncovers some of the myths that surround sin.

* I am going to share those with you this morning .......


A) Achan probably thought his sin was so small and insignificant, that it wouldn’t be that

important or that bad!

* How often do we justify the sin in our life by passing it off as just a “little sin.”

* We tend to believe that God judges sin in amounts.

* As long as it is only once, it won’t bother God. * The truth is, one sin does hurt!

B) Just ask Adam and Eve ... Caused eternal separation from God with a single sin!

* Moses forfeited entering the Promised Land on account of a single sin.

* Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron ... Died by fire because of a single sin.

* Uzzah ... Died instantly for improperly touching the Ark.

* Ananias and Sapphira ... Died instantly for lying to the Holy Ghost.

C) Let me ask you a question ... Would it be OK for you to cheat on you spouse one time?

* Could you imagine trying to justify yourself to him or her by saying it was only “one time.”

* When we choose to allow continual sin in our lives, we are cheating on God!

* We often forget that, when we transgress the law, we are sinning against God.

D) David, who broke all of the laws of God, didn’t say, “Oh, I have sinned against my friends,

against Bathsheba, against Uriah.” * David said, “I have sinned against God!”

* Psalm 51:4 “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:”

* Joseph, when tempted sexually by Potiphar’s wife, didn’t say, “I couldn’t sin against Potiphar,”

but he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)

E) We need to see sin how God sees sin! * Not as a little thing at all .......

* But as a transgression against him – Cheating on Him!

* If we see it that way, we will feel the same way He does – He hates it, and so will we!

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