Summary: The passage we will look at today is one in which the desire for money did indeed lead to a trap, foolish desires, and piercing griefs which ruined an entire nation for awhile and eventually an entire family permanently. The passage is about a man named
TOWARDS FAITH PROMISE 2016:
MONEY, GOD, AND YOU
INTRODUCTION… Dumb Crooks (geocities.com/Heartland/Cottage/1955/text/copdumbcrim.html)
* It seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape.
* A Newark NJ woman reporting her car as stolen mentioned that there was a phone in it. The policeman taking the report called the phone and told the guy that answered that he had read the ad in the newspaper and wanted to buy the car. They arranged to meet, and the thief was arrested.
* Two men tried to pull the front off an ATM by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home... With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper.
* A police officer had a perfect hiding place for watching for speeders. But one day, everyone was under the speed limit, the officer found the problem: a 10 year old boy was standing on the side of the road with a huge hand painted sign which said "RADAR TRAP AHEAD." A little more investigative work led the officer to the boy’s accomplice, another boy about 100 yards beyond the radar trap with a sign reading, "TIPS" and a bucket at his feet, full of change.
People will do strange things… illegal things… comical things in pursuit of money. Perhaps the most famous misquoted verse in the Bible about money is 1 Timothy 6:10. 1 Timothy 6:9-10 says, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Money itself is not evil, but can lead to traps, foolish desires, and piercing griefs which ruin us.
The passage we will look at today is one in which the desire for money did indeed lead to a trap, foolish desires, and piercing griefs which ruined an entire nation for awhile and eventually an entire family permanently. The passage is about a man named Achan who we might consider to be quite a foolish crook. He stole from God and tried to hide it.
THE SIN OF ACHAN
READ JOSHUA 7:1-5
But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD's anger burned against Israel. 2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, "Go up and spy out the region." So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, "Not all the people will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary all the people, for only a few men are there." 4 So about three thousand men went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
Verse 1 of chapter 7 tells us that Achan stole from God. Achan took some of the plunder from Jericho, which had all been dedicated to God and given to Him. Achan stole the sacred articles and put them among his own possessions and hid his theft from the other Israelites. He also deceived the people by not revealing that he had done it. What had Achan done? Achan stole from God.
READ JOSHUA 7:20-25
20 Achan replied, "It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath." 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LORD. 24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, "Why have you brought this trouble on us? The LORD will bring trouble on you today." Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.