Joshua 7:16-26 – Achan’s Claim to Fame

Read Joshua 7:16-26

silver coins

The treasure is buried. What good does it do there? That much “loot” must have brought attention to itself. You don’t just bury something under your tent without being noticed. That is probably why Achan’s family members were also sent away for punishment. I’m sure this is not the kind of remembrance Achan was hoping for when he gravely sinned. In fact, he was hoping to be “forgotten.”

As noted in our last reading, God sees it all. God knew who would be singled out that fateful morning. Achan did, too. From the time of the announcement until that moment, Achan had been thinking and overthinking what he had done. He could have denied it. He could have lied about where it was. But that at least he handled honorably. He told the truth when Joshua asked, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, by telling the truth. Make your confession and tell me what you have done. Don’t hide it from me.”

Have you ever been asked to “fess up” for something? I was thinking just a few days ago about an incident with my brother. We had wanted desperately to play with the big blanket that was stored in the hall closet. We had such fun with our imaginations making all sorts of adventures happen with that blanket from forts to flying carpet (blanket) rides. Mom said no.

We decided to get it out anyway and sneak it into our rooms when she wasn’t looking. I climbed up to the top shelf, and then fell backwards into the door. The door had a mirror on the other side. It all happened so fast, but the mirror shattered into a million pieces and my mother wanted to know what happened. I admitted I had deliberately misbehaved. I spent a lot of time in my room. Alone.

We’ve all been tempted, too. That’s the other part of this. Not only did Achan sin, it started with a temptation. How he handled that urge or desire is what changed his life and the lives of many others. There were at least 36 that lost their lives because of the defeat by Ai. Think about all the families whose lives were affected by Achan’s sin.

Disappointment. It’s what we feel when we are let down by others. How do we handle that? The first thing to do is recognize it. Realize that what’s happened has happened. It’s in the past. We can’t change it. But how we let it affect us is up to us. I’ve been learning a lot about brain science lately. It’s really quite fascinating.

But disappointing God. That’s what the true crime is here. That’s something I take time to think about. Are my actions pleasing to God? Is there anything I do that I wish I could hide from him? We know God sees all. I’m not sure that I’ve seen anybody lose their life like Achan’s family over a sin against God and his resulting anger.

What a statement! We see a teachable moment here. God was establishing a precedent. We need to take his word seriously. He doesn’t give “suggestions.” We need to be listening for him to speak to our hearts. We need to praying protection from evil.

Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for those things I do that are not pleasing to you. I feel closer to you each time I read your word and meditate on your message for me. Help me to listen for your voice and be deaf to the evil one’s lies. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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