Following the famous battle of Jericho, when God guided Israel to a glorious victory, it seemed that the next challenge should have been an easy one. However, in the battle of Ai, one man's greed was responsible for the whole nation suffering defeat. God had specifically warned, `Keep yourselves from the accursed thing` (Joshua 6:18), but for a man called Achan, the temptation was too strong. When God gives a warning, it’s because there’s danger ahead, and if we choose not to heed His warning, then we do so at our peril.
When his crime was discovered, and on his own admission, Achan confessed, “I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonian garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of 50 shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them” (Joshua 7:21).
The sin of covetousness is rampant in the age in which we live and is as treacherous as it is deceptive. Too often, our problem is that so many things in life seem so innocent, on first impressions, that we may be tempted to take a course of action that turns out to be dangerous. The great wealth and lavish lifestyles of those which are openly displayed in the minefield of social media or TV belie the hidden traps with its accompanying dangers. Sadly, and often at great personal cost, many discover that all that glitters isn’t gold.
God, however, gives us much needed revelation, for His word declares that we must not love the world, neither the things that are in the world (1 John 2:15-16). Jesus Himself, whose words are Spirit and life, warned, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
The sin of covetousness goes right back before the garden of Eden, when Satan coveted not only God’s position, but God’s worship (Isaiah 14:12-14). It actually begins with the lust of the eyes, for when people first see, then they covet, having become discontented. Inevitably, however, all is never as it appears to be, for just as Adam and Eve discovered in the garden of Eden, the sting of the serpent awaits all who eats its fruit.
The Scriptures encourage us to be thankful to God for all His provision for us, lest we are drawn into something which isn’t as it seems.
Thankfully for all who love the Lord, the living word of God is stronger than sin in all its forms. As we are obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will guide us into all truth as we regularly seek Him (John 16:13), and this in turn will prevent us from leaning on our own understanding, and away from danger, for He will direct our path.
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