Joshua’s men were forbidden to take any plunder from Jericho, as everything in the city was to be destroyed, with the exception of precious metal, which could not be destroyed, and was to go into the Lord’s treasury. But Achan took a huge amount of plunder and buried it in his tent. There is a sinful behaviour pattern here. He saw, he coveted, he took, he hid.
We see this first with Adam and Eve. Eve saw the fruit was good to the eyes, she coveted it, she took it, and ate it. She gave to her husband, who ate it as well, and then they tried to hide from God.
David saw Bathsheba, he coveted another man’s wife, he took her, and then tried to cover up his sin by trying to get Uriah to sleep with his wife, so the baby could be said to be his. So here we see again, with Achan, that same behaviour pattern repeated.
Because of Achan’s sin thirty-six Israelites died, when they went up to take Ai and they were chased out of the city. I don’t imagine Achan thought that there would be such terrible consequences for his sin.
Joshua was distraught and sought the Lord for answers, and God told him to gather all the people together and God would pick out the culprit.
After Achan confessed to disobeying the Lord’s specific commandments by stealing and then lying, the death penalty was carried out. He and his family were stoned to death. He had brought defilement on the entire community and caused the covenant with God to be broken.
The wages of sin is death. But Jesus came to save us from sin. Jesus has died our death so that we might go free. Jesus has paid the penalty for our sin. If we confess our sin, God is faithful and just, to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Repentance from sin means turning from our old behaviour patterns and not repeating them. Do we need to go back and look at the things that trigger sin in our lives? Does greed still have a part? Do we realise that our sin not only affects us, but our brothers and sisters too? Do we still try and hide our sin?
Prayer: Father, we are so thankful that when we confess our sin you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all that is not right. Help us to live our lives in a way that pleases You, not repeating old sinful patterns. Amen.
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