Summary: Achan stole from God... but all of Israel was guilty? How did that happen? And what can it tell us about our responsibility before God?
A man told this story at his first AA meeting: He’d gone to a party and had too much to drink.
His friends pled with him to let them drive him home but he said no, he only lived a mile away.
About 5 blocks from the party, the police pulled him over for weaving and asked him to get out of the car and walk the line. Just as he started, the police radio blared out a notice of a robbery in a house just a block away. The police told him to stay put, they’d be right back… and they hopped a fence and ran down the street to the robbery.
The guy waited and waited and he waited… and finally decided to drive home.
When he got there, he told his wife he was going to bed and to tell anyone who might come looking for him that he had the flu and had been in bed all day.
A few hours later the police knocked on the door. They ask if the man lived there and his wife said yes. They asked to see him and she replied that he was in bed with the flu all day.
The police had his driver’s license.
Then they asked to see his car… and she asks why. They insist on seeing his car, so she takes them to the garage and opens the door… and there sat their police car, with lights still flashing. ("Pastor Tim"
* He thought he’d covered his tracks.
* He’d escaped from the police… made it home safely.
* He’d carefully hidden the fruit of his sins.
* He even had an alibi.
Now, if it just weren’t for that pesky, police car out in the garage he might have been home free.
Numbers 32:23 warns us “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Or as Psalm 139:11-12 so aptly puts it
“If I say, ’Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
You might be able to hide your sins from the police.
You might be able to hide your sins from your folks.
You might be able to hide your sins from the people you love.
But you can’t hide your sin from God.
This morning we’re looking at another in our list of “biggest losers” in Scripture.
Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah took something that didn’t belong to him.
· He thought he’d covered his tracks
· He thought he was home free
· He thought he’d carefully hidden the fruit of his sins
· He might have even had an alibi
o BUT he couldn’t hide his sin from God.
o And because of his sin, He lost his reputation, his family & his life
Before we get to the heart of the sermon, let’s do a little retelling of the story
Just a few days earlier, God had led Israel in a triumphant battle against one of the most heavily fortified cities in the land of Palestine. Jericho was thought to have been impregnable. It was a city with thick walls and determined defenders.
Now, granted, Israel had several hundred thousand warriors, but Jericho should have held out for several months at least
But it didn’t. It fell in 7 short days
And (as far as we can tell) God’s army never lost a single man in that battle.
Before Israel even went into battle God made a few very specific demands:
· The city is Mine.
· All that lies within its walls are Mine.
· “All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury." Joshua 6:19
· Everything else was to be burned.
You touch NOTHING!!!!
And God warned Israel: “… keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.” Joshua 6:18
When Joshua chapter 6 ends, the people are excited.
God had been faithful
Jericho had fallen,
Victory was theirs
And all of Palestine lay before them like a field ripe for harvest.
Everything seems to have gone according to plan.
But once we start reading Joshua chapter 7 something is obviously wrong.
A man named Achan had stolen part of the plunder from Jericho… and God was furious.
Not realizing this, Joshua determines to send a small force against a minor walled city named Ai. It should have been easy pickings.