Summary: Israel quickly turns from glorious victory to humiliating defeat, because of disobedience and arrogance towards God.
Text: Joshua 7:1-15
Title: “Sin Raises It’s Ugly Head”
• Up until this point Israel’s journey has been marked by trust, obedience and success.
• Tonight we see they get their first taste of failure because sin has crept into the camp.
o Even in the moments of our greatest success we are one sin away from complete failure.
I. Sin of Disobedience (1)
• Now God had told them not to take any of the accursed things from the city of Jericho.
o As a matter of fact the only things that were to be taken were to be given to God.
o Vs. 18
o Achan does exactly what God had told them not to do.
o Vs. 21
• The question we need to ask ourselves is why.
o He did not trust God.
o He felt as if he deserved this, it was his right to take it because up to this point all they had been given were the promises of God where was all the stuff?
o This is the root of disobedience in all our lives.
o Paul tells us the secret to avoiding this.
Philippians 4:12, 19 -- 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
II. The Sin of Arrogance (2-3)
• Notice that unlike Jericho Joshua does not seek out God to ask how they should proceed.
o But instead he sends only the spies and relies solely on the information they give him.
• They tell Joshua it’s no big deal, only send about 2 or 3 thousand men.
o Again what happened?
o They had forgotten so quickly whose battle it was and whose victory it was at Jericho.
o All of a sudden it became about what they could do instead of what God could do through them.
• How often does this happen to us? God gives us a personal or corporate victory and we turn around and take the credit and think we can do anything.
o We must be careful not to let today’s victory turn into tomorrow’s defeat.
o We must constantly remind ourselves that we are dependant on God’s power and strength.
Ephesians 6:10-11 -- 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
• The scheme of the devil is to get us to believe that we can do it in our own strength.
III. The Punishment of Sin (4-9)
• Israel was defeated, their moral was wiped out and they were utterly humiliated.
• Joshua’s reaction is much like our’s when we face defeat as a result of our own sin.
o “God why did You let this happen?”
IV. The Unveiling of Sin (10-12)
• God tells Joshua that this came about because of sin.
o Specifically God only mentions Achan’s sin, but notice the use of the plural pronoun they.
o Israel has sinned against God and has transgressed His covenant.
• Even sin done in secret, like Achan’s, is known to God and has consequences on others.
Psalm 51:3, 9 -- 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.
9 Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
• “Neither will I be with you anymore.”
o God was not forsaking them, but He also could not ignore their sin or the impact it had on their relationship with Him.
Psalm 32:3-4 -- 3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.
Psalm 51:12 -- 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
• “Unless you destroy the accursed from among you.”
o They had to make it right with God.
Psalm 32:5 -- 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.
V. Cleansing of Sin (13-15)
1. Sanctify themselves.
o They had to set themselves apart for God’s use
o Like a rededication to God.
2. Expose the sin and the sinner.
3. Remove the accursed from their presence.
o Sin had to be dealt with harshly and swiftly because if left alone it would affect all the people.