“Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.”
Joshua 6:18-19 NLT
Joshua gives specific instructions that everything in the city of Jericho is to be completely destroyed. People, animals, houses, and everything. Only the silver, gold, bronze, and iron are to be kept, and they are to be brought into the treasury of the Lord’s house.
After the triumph of Jericho, Joshua makes a quick decision to send some of the men to take the next city, Ai. Compared to Jericho, it is a minor place, so not much thought or inquiry of the Lord is given. (Good point to remember to talk to God about the big and the little things.)
When the men go to Ai, they are defeated and humiliated. Joshua lays on the dirt in shock and anguish, wondering why God would allow such a defeat. God tells him to get up off the ground and explains the defeat is due to sin in the camp. At God’s direction, Joshua goes through the camp tribe by tribe, clan by clan, and family by family until he comes to Achan. Achan admits that he took a robe and some gold from Jericho. He didn’t think anyone would know—but God knew.
The judgment is severe. The people stone Achan and his entire family. God really hates disobedience and greed.
There is another similar incidence in Acts, chapter five. Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when they lied about their offering to God. Both incidents have amazing similarities.
Each incident deals with God starting something in His people. In Joshua, God is leading His people into their physical Promised Land. In Acts, God is giving birth to the Church. In both cases, God wants people to know the importance of obedience and trust. There can be no room for lying, greed, or selfishness in what God is doing. If we allow these things in our lives, there will be consequences.
When sin is not confronted, God’s kingdom is hindered, and consequences will take place. Mercy and grace are given to those willing to repent. But there is judgment for those who think they can hide their sins from people and God. God is all-seeing and all-knowing. Don’t fall for the lie of thinking He doesn’t see or care about our sin.
Holy Spirit, please show me any part of my life that is in opposition to Your will and plan. Purify me today as I repent before You of any and all sin. Help me to live in a place where You can give favor to my life.
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