Summary: As members of one body, problems plaguing one member eventually become problems for the entire body. Your own personal spiritual temperature has a deep effect on the entire body of Christ. You are not an island unto yourself. What you do affects the entir
The Pain of Hidden Sin
Text: Joshua 6:18-19; 7:1
Introduction: Our text places us right in the middle of Israel’s greatest military conquest in their history. They have just witnessed the tremendous defeat of the city of Jericho. They find themselves still basking in the glow of tremendous event as we open to chapter 7. The first words in verse 1 indicate trouble - God is upset with the people. There was a problem stirring within the camp. Though Israel was under the impression that everything was all right, it simply wasn’t. Israel was busy envisioning themselves marching through the promised land gaining victory after victory. But, there was a problem in the camp. This problem had to be dealt with before they went any further. Failure to deal with it would generate extended problems for the entire nation of people.
The same still holds true today. As members of one body, problems plaguing one member eventually become problems for the entire body. Your own personal spiritual temperature has a deep effect on the entire body of Christ. You are not an island unto yourself. What you do affects the entire church body. As we proceed further on, you will begin to see this truth more fully illuminated.
My desire today is that each of you will search your heart and examine your life. If there is anything in your life that you have hidden away, anything that you think is covered and gone, I want you to deal with that thing today. I want you to get that thing settled with the Lord before you leave this building. You can do it and this message will tell you how.
Folks, sin causes problems. It not only hurts the sinner but tends to bring injury to everyone else around them. The fact is, most of us are guilty of being like Achan from time to time. When we allow sin into our lives then try to hide it and then attempt to cover it up, we bring pain and trouble into our lives. Yes, we are all Achans from time to time, and when we are, our sin causes aching in our lives. These verses tell us that God has a prescription for an Achan heart. Let’s look at these passages right now as the Lord gives liberty and help in this hour.
Achan’s Hidden Sin brought a:
1. PAINFUL DEFEAT
A. We begin by seeing that Israel had become a confident people
1. vv. 2-3 - "Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and told them, Go up and scout the land. So the men went up and scouted Ai. After returning to Joshua they reported to him, Don’t send all the people, but send about 2,000 or 3,000 men to attack Ai. Since the people of Ai are so few, don’t wear out all our people there."
2. Israel found themselves basking in the glow of their Jericho victory - Ai was a little town - no problem.
3. Israel found themselves living in the midst of one of the most dangerous times of life.
a. The time right after a great spiritual victory is a dangerous time.
b. Overconfidence sets in and we become vulnerable.
c. Some of our greatest defeats happen right after a major victory.
4. Confidence is a good thing as long as our confidence is in the right place.
a. It must be placed in the Lord if we want to continue to walk in victory.
b. If we place our confidence in our own flesh and abilities, we are destined to eventual defeat.
B. Israel’s confidence in themselves brought defeat
1. vv. 4-5a - "So about 3,000 men went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. The men of Ai struck down about 36 of them and chased them from outside the gate to the quarries, striking them down on the descent."
2. Israel suffered a tremendous defeat at Ai - 36 of their men were killed.
3. We can see several mistakes that Israel made in this venture:
a. They failed to seek God’s will in the matter - they didn’t even pray before they went forth.
- You and I often find ourselves guilty of jumping ahead of the Lord and His will. We rush headlong into life and trust the Lord to bail us out of the messes which we fall into. It is far better to consult God before we make the mistake than it is to expect Him to clean up the mess afterwards.
b. They didn’t take the Ark of the Covenant into the battle. The Ark symbolized the presence and power of God. They went into the battle in their own strength and they failed!