Archive for January 11th, 2012

Joshua 7

Joshua 7 has a major mistake by the people – well at least one guy.  ” But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things”.  Achan took something that should have been destroyed.  He violated God’s instruction.  So when the army went to take on the next city – Ai – they lost and actually got their rear ends kicked.  God was no long with them.  Joshua is beside himself.  He cannot understand what has gone wrong so he goes before God and hears the bad news.  Someone has violated God’s instruction and God has withheld His power.  Not a good situation. 

Joshua tore his clothes….fell to the earth….put dust on their heads”.  He is seeking God’s answer.  God is pretty direct with Joshua: “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned….stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings….I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you”.  Don’t think God cares about our obedience.  One guy violates God’s instruction, and the entire nation of Israel is paying the price.  This is a big deal.  God has a solution: “he who is taken with the devoted things shall be burned with fire” and it isn’t a pleasant one.  Someone has to pay for their sin but at this point Joshua doesn’t know who the guilty party is. 

God tells Joshua to get up early and find out by God’s leading.  He will draw lots and God will lead him to the guilty party.  So Joshua does as instructed and the arrow pointes to Achan.  He calls him out and says “tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me”.  I am sure Achan thought he got away with something.  He had taken some silver and gold and hid them “in the earth inside my tent”.  He thought he had pulled of a score, but God not only knew, he led Joshua straight to him.  If you think for a minute you can fool God, you are sorely misinformed.  God knows always. 

Joshua now has to deal with this problem.  God had told him what that meant – Achan had to die.  Not only him, but his “sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had”.  This is truly cleaning things up.  It was a very painful ending.  “And all Israel stoned him….burned them with fire….raised over him a great heap of stones”.  Sin is not something that God can just tolerate.  This little violation of God’s instruction didn’t get overlooked.  It had to be dealt with.  Only then did “the Lord turned from his burning anger”.  Only then did the nation of Israel get back on God’s good side.  Seem a little harsh?  The wages of sin is death – there is always a severe cost to sin.  The good news for us is that Jesus paid that price if we receive His gift through grace.

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