Joshua chapter seven starts out on a bad note: “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully …” This is just the setup for the rest of the chapter. Unknowingly, Joshua continued on the mission God had sent him on, to take the land. However, when he sent men to take Ai they were horribly defeated.
Joshua’s reaction is probably similar to many of ours: Why did you bring us here? To die? We WOULD HAVE BEEN CONTENT back there (on the other side of the Jordan)!! Now everything is wrong (everyone will try to defeat us)
God tells him straight up what the problem is:
- They have stolen
- Claimed items as their own that were devoted to God (I wonder; does this include tithe? just a thought)
How could a sinful people have a holy God with them? While in their sin, they will not! They need to get rid of it. You cannot stand against the world unless you get rid of the sin in your life (V13)
The next verses describe the search for the perpetrator, and in verses 20-21 Achan confesses his sin:
Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 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.”
Materialism, coveting, stealing, trying to hide it from God, and lying. How many suffer with this today, we see something and have to have it. We may (or some may) steal it, but we strive to have it … then the next thing come along and it happens again. We look to money as our level of success, some need to earn more at whatever cost … family, friends, etc.
Even although Achan confessed this sin, he and his family were taken out and stoned in order to pay for their sin; this wa the Old Testament punishment (aren’t you thankful we have Jesus). Then God’s anger turned from them.
Today we have Jesus, He sacrificed Himself so that His blood would cover our sins. If we confess them He is just and will forgive them.
Perhaps our lives aren’t going the way we thought because we have unrepentant sin in our lives. We still blame God, “it would have been better back there.” I have done that myself; why did you call me into ministry only to have all these problems? back in IT I had all the money I needed, I didn’t have these other issues, etc.
But instead of looking to the past, uncover what is holding us back from the future. God can and will do incredible things through our lives. But we can’t soar when we have sin laden balls of led tied around our feet!!