Recently I heard a story of someone who, although married with a young child, was involved in an adulterous affair with another married person who also has a young family. They thought they could keep it secret and it wouldn’t affect anyone else. Of course, that hasn’t worked out, and now two homes are breaking up; two families are devastated, children will grow up largely separated from one parent. The wider families and old friends of all involved are affected, and it’s put the family business at risk.
Today’s verses are from another story of someone who thought they could keep their sin a secret and it wouldn’t affect anyone else. We often call it Achan’s sin, and it’s worth reading the whole story in Joshua Chapter 7. Achan was the head of an Israelite family during the time when the Israelites were entering the Promised Land that God had given them.
God had given precise instructions about how they were to conquer the land, drive out the people who lived there and destroy everything belonging to them. Achan, however, was tempted by some attractive plunder, so he took it and hid it thinking no-one would know. God knew, of course, and could no longer bless and protect people who were in deliberate defiance of His instructions.
This story is in the bible as a warning to us all of two things; firstly, that we lose God’s blessing and protection when we deliberately disobey Him. That is because He made the rules and requirements for our safety and blessing, even if we don’t understand how that works at the time. It’s like a parent telling a toddler “don’t touch the fire”. The toddler may not understand why, and think it’s OK to disobey. Secondly, that our sin affects everyone, our family, our friends, the church, the community, possibly the nation, even if we think it’s secret.
It always feels that the consequences of Achan’s sin and the subsequent action taken against him and his whole family was a bit drastic, but it can only be that God needed us to understand that sin is serious and has serious consequences. Thank God that we now have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us to help us resist the temptation of sin and get rid of it in our lives.
Prayer: Dear Father God, please help us to stop trying to keep our sin secret, but to confess it and get rid of it in our own lives, so that we and our families and communities and the nation may be blessed and know Your protection. Amen.
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