Summary: IN THIS PASSAGE ABOUT ACHAN SECRET SIN, WE SEE A PAINFUL DEFEAT, A PAINFUL DISCOVERY, AND WE SEE A PAINFUL DEATH.
THE COST AND CONSEQUENCES OF SECRET SIN
Joshua had one of those days. During the conquest of Jericho the people had been told that all the valuables of that city were to be devoted to the Lord; nothing was to be touched Just when things were going well, one of the brethren got greedy. Achan, of the tribe of Judah, took some beautiful clothing and some silver and gold for himself. God was not amused. The very next time the Israelites went to fight -- this time against a puny little city called Ai Israel went to battle with about 3,000 troops, while Ai only had a small company, THEY WON THE BATTLE.
I-WE SEE A PAINFUL DEFEAT: 2-5
A-ISRAEL WAS A CONFIDENT PEOPLE: 2-3
Israel was still basking in the glow of their victory at Jericho and they looked at Ai and felt like that little town would be no problem for such a great army
Israel was a confident people, but a closer look reveals that their confidence was misplaced-in v. 3—they fell like that just a few of the soldiers are needed to secure a victory in little Ai-These people are guilty of resting on their laurels
Israel did not realize it—but they are living through one of the most dangerous times of life-you see—the time just after a great spiritual victory is a dangerous time
often, like Israel we will be over confident and believe that we can handle any battle that comes our way. Proverbs 16:18—"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling"
When Ralph Sampson the all American basketball played at Virginia, they suffered one of the greatest defeat in their history. They played a little NAIA School and got beat. They were overconfident.
So often when God is growing you in your walk with Him or God is growing a Church-you had better watch out—Satan is on his way
Confidence is a good thing as long as one’s confidence is in the right place
B-ISRAEL WAS A CONQUERED PEOPLE: 4-5
When Israel went up to Ai -they suffered a terrible defeat and 36 of their men were killed
It is easy to see that they made several mistakes-mistakes that many of us are guilty of making as well
1)—Nowhere in this passage does it even hint that Joshua and the people of Israel sought the will of God for dealing with Ai. If they had prayed-God would have revealed the problem before people died.
It is far better to consult God before we make the mistake than it is to expect Him to clean up our messes afterwards
2)—They didn’t take the Ark of the Covenant into battle. The Ark symbolized the presence and power of God-they went into the battle in their own strength and they failed
We try to live the Christian life, fight the flesh and the devil in our own power and we fail time after time
C-ISRAEL WAS A CONFOUNED PEOPLE:5
After their terrible defeat at the hands of Ai, the people of Israel are feeling the same fear that their enemies experienced this is one of the problems with sin-It defeats you and leaves you feeling just like a lost man-nothing is right in the life of a believer while there is sin in his midst.
A lady called me one night to visits her and her husband. She said I am miserable, I am miserable. As we talked, I found ut quick there was sin in their life. They confessed their sins and when I left, I got my joy back.
Israel didn’t know at this point what was wrong-thankfully God wants His people to have the victory—not the defeat--------so He takes the necessary steps to reveal to the nation of Israel just exactly where the problem lies
III-WE SEE A PAINFUL DISCOVERY: 6-15
A-A REACTION IN PRAYER:6-9
After the tragedy happens, Joshua and the elders find themselves before the Lord in prayer-their prayer was from a broken heart—notice v. 6
There is also a hint of anger and accusation against the Lord
When you sin, you bring shame not only to yourself, but to your family, your Church and your God.
Psalm 66:18—"If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear"
Joshua wonders why Israel was powerless in the battle----the answer wasn’t to blame God----or to dispute His will----the answer was in their own camp
When there is a defeat in the Church and souls are not being saved and the services are dull and lifeless, we need not blame the Lord. I can assure you to problem is always within
I was in a Revival once that was cold and no movement. I found out later, there were two leaders who were there each night who were involved in affair. They had quenched the Spirit.