May 22 | Waking with The Word | Joshua 7: 16-26
Joshua 7:16-26 :16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: :17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: :18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. :19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. :20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: :21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. :22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. :23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. :24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. :25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. :26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.
Yesterday we talked about the two things that brought defeat for Israel. Today I want to focus in more directly on Achan. His life is one that God has given us record of to teach what not to do. It is possible and wisest to learn from others mistakes rather than your own. There are 2 things about Achan I want to notice.
1. Achan's Mistake
Now we know well his first mistake was taking of the accursed thing, we have record of that in the verses above. The mistake I want to focus on today is the second mistake he made and that was hiding what He had done. First of all the very instinct to hide something exposes the nature of it. Yes it was wrong to take it in the first place but to hide it, especially after 36 men lost their lives, was especially wrong. This should also teach us the lesson that our sin doesn't only effect us. For Achan his sin affected his family along with 36 other families who lost their father and husband. Don't think your sin only affects you, it has the potential to cause real damage for the ones you are closest to. The grandest mistake for Achan I believe was his hiding of this terrific sin. I personally believe that had he confessed his sin with a broken heart and a contrite spirit he could have found forgiveness. You say but he did confess his sin in verse 20. He did confess but it was only after they had searched out the entire camp of Israel, it was that he had been found. When Joshua announced that they were going to search He should have immediately brought his sin before God and Israel and asked for forgiveness but instead he hid it until the very end in hopes that he would some how get away with it. Contrast this with Jonah, When Jonah's ship was going down and they were about to start throwing people overboard Jonah stepped up and said it's me.
Now coming to ourselves. We are all sinners, We have all at some point did the wrong thing, said the wrong thing or taken of the accursed thing like Achan. That was our first mistake but the second mistake many people make is instead of bringing that sin before God and the person you wronged, if that be the case, we tend to want to hide that sin from God, from our spouse, from our children from everyone. We take of the accursed thing and then we hide it from everyone with the hopes that we will get away without being caught or found out. This is a more grievous mistake than the first. God has made provision for people who will admit their a sinner but there is no provision made for those who hide their sins. You can judge your self or be judged by God. Dear friend, it is futile to try and hide your sins from God. He knows the thoughts and intents of your heart and if you want to find help and forgiveness you'll have to come to Him with your sins.
Numbers 32 said: "be sure your sin will find you out." Proverbs15:3 "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." Job said: "For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings."
Don't make the mistake Achan made. Bring your sin before God and ask for forgiveness.
Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
The truth is we all have sinned but the good news is God will forgive our sins. John wrote these words: 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. :9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Achan's biggest mistake was hiding what He had done. Have you wronged God? Have you wronged your spouse, your family, your friend? The worst thing you could do is try to hide it. Your sin, like Achan's, will be found out. Deal with your sin, come boldly before the throne of grace and find help!
2. Achan's Memorial
Look now to verse 26
:26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.
You'll find these heaps of stones throughout the Book of Joshua. These heaps were a way to memorialize a person or a place of importance. The 1st one in the Book of Joshua is in Gilgal when they set up the stones that were plucked from the river Jordan when they crossed on dry ground. This is the second one we read about and there is another one we will come to in chapter 8 where they pile stones on the King of Ai. The first was a Memorial to their Fathers Deliverance, the one today is a Memorial to their Friends Disobedience and the one in chapter 8 is a Memorial to their Foes Defeat. These piles of stones reminded them what happen to that person or in that place and served as a way to remind them and the generations to come of what happen there. Now our lives can be reckoned to these memorials. What will people see when they look back at your life? Will your life be a memorial to God's deliverance through obedience or will it, like Achan, be a memorial to God's judgment through disobedience? I'm happy to say their are the lives of men who I can look to and say look at what God can do with a willing heart but sadly there are the lives of others, when I look to them i have to say look what happens when we hide our sin and judgment comes. I want my life to be a memorial to the goodness and forgiveness of God and not to disobedience and the judgment of God. How will you be remembered? What memorial are you setting up for the generations to come? Will people learn from your victories or your defeats?
I want my life to be a Testimony!!
Onward Christian Soldier!!