Walk in God’s path
Scripture: Joshua 7:1-26
Aim: A warning to the believer to be faithful to obey the Word of the Lord, knowing that failure to do so will bring the judgment of God upon him, even those who know Him.
Golden Text: “And Achan answered Joshua, and said, ‘Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done’” (Joshua 7:20).
Moses had instructed the Israelites, “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).
Further, Moses warned the people not to take that which had been dedicated to the Lord for their own personal use (something we today need to heed, like the tithe). He warned that if Israel wanted the Lord to turn His wrath away from Israel and bless them, they must not partake of the forbidden things (“cursed”—that which was dedicated to the Lord, Deuteronomy 13:17).
The whole City of Jericho with all in it except Rahab and her family were to be a sacrifice unto the Lord. Absolutely nothing, not even a stick, or a thread, was to be taken for personal use. The commandment was plain, simple and binding upon every Israelite.
The commands of the Lord as given in the Holy Scriptures are binding upon all of us. It behooves each of us to learn what the Lord has spoken to us and then obey that Word. Not to do so will bring the anger and wrath of God upon the believer as well as the unbeliever!
I. Joshua warned the people against taking any thing from the city of Jericho, or rebuilding the city after the Israelites had destroyed it (Joshua 6:26-7:1). To disobey would bring the curse of God upon that person and his offspring. Further, all in the city was to be burned except silver, gold, precious metals, which would be put into the Tabernacle treasury (Joshua 6:18). The complete city with its people and animals were to be an offering unto God.
II. Joshua and Israel were defeated because of sin and disobedience to God (Joshua 7:2-9). Joshua and the men of Israel went up to fight against Ai, a small military outpost north of Jericho (vs. 2-4). They sent 3,000 men who were defeated and sent running back down the valley toward Jericho. Thirty-six Israelites were killed (vs. 5). Discouragement, defeat and death were brought to Israel because of the sin of one man! Never think a sin effects only those who commit it. The effects are always far reaching!
III. Joshua finds Achan to be the one who sinned in taking (Joshua 7:10-23). After the defeat of Israel Jehovah instructed Joshua that there was “sin in the camp” (vs. 10-11). The first thing was a cleansing and purifying of all the people (vs. 13).
Second, all tribes are to be brought before the Lord the next day, and Jehovah will revel the sinner (vs. 14-15).
Third, the tribes were brought before Joshua and the man Achan was revealed (vs. 16-18).
Fourth, Achan confessed that he had taken and hidden gold, silver and garments. These were brought to Joshua (vs. 16-23).
IV. Joshua and Israel stoned Achan with all his family and possessions (Joshua 7:24-26). All the family fell under the wrath of God for the sin of the father, which the rest of the family probably knew! That ought to be a serious lesson for us to learn today. Our sins do effect others: our self, our family, those around us, and even those who do not even know us. Once set into motion sin will run its course. Even when forgiven, the results will be far reaching.
The best remedy: Do not sin, expecting to get away with it. All sin will be dealt with sooner or later.
Thank God that Christ died for our sins. All who confess and turn from their sins (repent) will have forgiveness and cleansing. Where does the reader stand today?
Howard Tillery is the pastor of New Ochlocknee Baptist Church in Grady County. He lives in Cairo.