Joshua 7:1 (NIV) But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a]; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.
Joshua Chapter 7 is an interesting episode in Israel’s early history. In context, they had come through forty years of wandering in the wilderness and were now engaged in the conquest of the Promised Land. City after city fell to them, including Jericho. And it was there that God commanded the Israelites not to touch or take any of the spoils.
But someone did; A man named Achan decided to make off with a few things. It wasn’t much a fine piece of clothing, a few bits of silver, and a wedge of gold. He figured nobody would miss or notice these things. But God did. It angered the Lord, and it brought Israel’s conquest and progress to a screeching halt. Are you committed to something and have caused progress to come to a screeching halt? Your job, family, ministry, friendships, relationship!
The next city in line was Ai, which was relatively small in comparison to the others they had conquered. But because of Achan’s secret sin, God removed His protective hand from Israel, and thirty-six of her soldiers were killed when they tried to attack (Joshua 7:5). Can you believe that your lack of staying close to God and the Lord’s purposes can cause this?
The rest of the chapter describes how God reveals to Joshua what had happened, and how Achan was confronted and punished for his actions. But the point we can’t miss is that Achan’s sin affected innocent people around him; people who knew nothing about what he had done! An entire nation was rendered powerless, and thirty-six men lost their lives.
We need to keep this in mind when it comes to sin: Its effect is never limited to those who actually commit it. The husband or father who is secretly into pornography is also hurting his family. The employee who steals from the register is harming his co-workers in the long run. The wife who’s having that secret relationship is hurting the whole family. And the alcoholic doesn’t just destroy themselves but breaks the heart of those who love them as well.
How can the Ministry move forward if you are entangled sisters and brothers, there are innocent people affected and trying to go forward, which is something we would do well to remember when we find ourselves tempted as Achan was, and act independently of what the Lord has instructed! Our families, Jobs, Churches, and our lives are at stake! Have a reflective day in the Lord!