Summary: Sometimes I think we forget that God does not only love, but that He is also a just God who punishes sin. Let¡¦s remember that every sin we commit is a sin against God, and that sin not only hurts us, it also hurts others, and it hurts our relationship wi
The Story of Achan
Background Passage: Joshua 7:1-26
Focal Passage: Joshua 7:6-7, 10-13, 16-21, 24-26
Let¡¦s back up a few weeks and recap what¡¦s already happened.
God had given the land of Canaan to the Israelites, but they still had to take it away from those who lived there.
That was easier said than done, since Israel was blocked by the Jordan River, which was at that time at flood stage.
But God made a way¡XHe stopped the flow of the River and Israel crossed on dry ground.
The first city they faced was Jericho.
When they were taking Jericho the Israelites were commanded by God to spare Rahab and her family and not to take for themselves certain things that belonged to God.
God said, ¡§And all the silver, and gold, and vessels of copper and iron, shall be holy to Jehovah; they shall come into the treasury of Jehovah.¡¨
Chapter 7 begins by telling us that the children of Israel committed a sin against the LORD; but it was only one man that did it.
It was Achan who committed the sin, but the whole nation had to suffer because of what Achan did.
Achan took some loot from the ruins of Jericho; he took some gold, silver and a valuable garment and he hid them in a hole he dug in the ground near the center of his tent.
Probably no one on earth, with the possible exception of his family, saw what he did, but God saw and He was very angry at the whole nation because of what Achan did.
We find that hard to understand; that God would punish a whole nation because of what one person did.
But our ways are not His ways.
Besides that, He did it twice before and the first time was way back at the beginning.
The first sin; the sin of Adam and Eve has affected every person born since then.
Because of that one sin everyone is born with Adam¡¦s nature and in a lost condition
Later God punished the Egyptians, because Pharaoh wouldn¡¦t let the Israelites leave Egypt.
He went as far as taking the life of the first born male child in every household.
In the New Testament John was given a message from Jesus about seven churches.
One was in the city of Pergamos.
He told that church that they were going to be punished for not confronting a woman in the congregation called Jezebel, who was involved in fornication.
Jesus said that He would make her sick and kill her children, unless she repented; her children would be punished for what she did.
A modern day example would be the natural disasters we have experienced in the last few years.
Did God send them?
We don¡¦t know.
But if He didn¡¦t send them, He at least knew all about it, and He didn¡¦t stop them from taking lives and destroying homes.
Sometimes I think we forget that God does not only love, but that He is also a just God who punishes sin.
Let¡¦s remember that every sin we commit is a sin against God, and that sin not only hurts us, it also hurts others, and it hurts our relationship with the Father.
The story of Achan is a story of theft and deception and punishment.
People who steel may not be very smart according to an article I read.
The article said that those who steal aren¡¦t too bright and here¡¦s some evidence to prove it: A burglar in New Jersey stuck a piece of paper in the lock of an office building so he could later return for the heist.
The police had no problem locating the thief because the paper he used was a parking ticket that clearly identified who he was and where he lived.
A twenty-two-year-old man in Wichita, Kansas, got arrested for trying to pass counterfeit money at an airport hotel.
The counterfeit loot was two $16 bills.
Policemen in Rhode Island knew they had apprehended the right suspect when it came time to post bail.
The man was charged with a string of vending machine robberies and paid his $400 bail entirely in quarters.
God says stealing is a sin, and sin always has consequences.
You never get away with sin, because ¡§Your sins will find you out.¡¨
Soon after Jericho¡¦s defeat, Joshua sent some of his men to spy on the city of Ai.
It was a small city with around 12,000 residents, and when the spies compared it to Jericho it looked to them like it was going to be an easy victory.
When they returned to camp they told Joshua, ¡§It¡¦s a small city and it won¡¦t take more than two or three thousand of us to destroy it; there¡¦s no point in all of us going there.¡¨