Scripture Passage: Joshua 7: 12
After the death of Moses , the responsibility of leading the Israelites fell upon Joshua. The city of Jericho built huge walls around its city to keep the Israelites out. We read in Joshua 6, that God delivered the city to them. But for the city to be captured, they were asked to do some things and Joshua followed the instructions. Thus they managed to capture the city. Just as the Lord gave instructions to the Israelites, He gives us instructions as well. Instructions about should be done and should not be done. Yet we fail to follow them. We see in Rahab, the prostitute that a good work earns God’s reward.(Joshua 6: 17) 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. Even a prostitute did what was right and thus was spared with whole family (Joshua 6: 22-23) , 22 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” 23 So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother, her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel.
When Joshua overtook Jericho, he was instructed not to take anything from the city (Joshua 6: 18-19), 18 But 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. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.” But Achan stole gold and silver from Jericho and hid them in his tent.
(Joshua 7:1) But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, 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. In each of us, there is an Achan. Do we then encourage him to disobey?? If yes, then its time to throw him out. One man’s disobedience leads to the doom of a whole family and here we see the whole community. So think well before you act. Due to Achan’s act, God let the Israelites be defeated by the Amorites at Ai. They were unable to take over the small region of Ai. Joshua and the elders fell face down on the ground and pleaded for forgiveness from the Lord (Joshua 7: 6-13 )6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell face down to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads…11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies;…You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.
God speaks to each of us daily. See if we have anything that displeases God (Proverbs 28: 9)If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, even their prayers are detestable. This is not to scare you off, rather to discipline you and to help you lead the right path. Just as our parents guide us from wrong similarly, the words of Solomon guide us from doing wrong.
Joshua 7: 16 , we read that Joshua brought forward each tribe to find out who had sinned and stolen things despite instructions from God. Achan instead of confessing his sins, did not utter a word. Similarly, don’t we also waste out time and opportunity to repent before the Lord?? But we forget that God is looking (Hebrews 4:13) 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Achan is finally caught (Joshua 7:21)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 bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath….
24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, 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. 26 Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since.” Achan and his family is stoned to death and the area burnt in fire. Israelites are rescued from destruction. Joshua’s prayers are answered and are guided how to take over Ai.
Those who seek God’s counsel and follow His instructions always lead the right path. (Proverbs 28: 13)Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. This is proved by the fate of Achan. This should be a lesson to all children who disobey and ignore the word of God and instead chose to live on own terms and desires.
Let us say a small prayer: Lord, my Father, I am a sinner. Please forgive me. I do not understand your interventions in my life. Give me wisdom to seek your counsel and lead a fruitful life. AMEN.