Yesterday gave us a hint about what was coming today! Joshua had warned that nobody should keep anything belonging to Jericho apart from the vessels dedicated for the Lord’s house. However, Achan took of the accursed things and because of him, God was angry towards the whole of Israel.
As his custom was, Joshua again sent men to view Ai to assess the military requirement to conquer the land. Report, ‘not everyone has to go for the people there are very few’! So just about three thousand men went to face Ai, but – they ran away from the men of Ai – Isarel was defeated! There was an immediate transfer of fear, and for the first time, Israel became afraid of the people that should be afraid of them.
Joshua and the elders were very sad, and Joshua sought God to know what the problem was, fearing that the other lands would soon hear the news and gather round to completely destroy Israel. Who else could Joshua turn to except the one that gave the order to posses the land in the first place?
God made clear the problem to Joshua, Israel had sinned by taking some of the accursed thingand have such broken their covenant with God. In summary, they are out of sync! This shows that everything that has to do with God and Israel has to do with His covenant with them. His covenant with them makes them win or lose. If they abide, they win, if they trangress, they lose.
This is a great lesson for us especially when things are not going right. We have to ask the question, am in I in sync with God? Am I following his plan for my life? Am I obeying his word? While God has promised to never leave nor forsake us, sin is capable of interrupting our experience of his love and grace!
The next command was clear, take away the accursed thing and we will be “back in business”! God gave the procedure to fish out the thief causing Isarel trouble and to have him judged. He was to be burned because he trangressed God’s covenant and wrought folly in Israel. The reason for the judgement was clear. Despite God’s presence and wonders among his people, a man deemed it fit to disobey and steal from what God clearly commanded not to be touched – now that is folishness, and God could not just condone that. If it would take all of Israel to understand that by losing in war, God was ready to teach them.
The next morning, everyone gathered, the tribe of Judah was taken, from Judah, the Zarhites, then Zabdi and his family members, and finally Achan the son of Carmi. Achan indeed confessed to stealing of the spoils and having them hid in his tent, and he was judged as ordered by God. He was stoned and burned together with his family and their belongings, and God’s anger was turned away.
This passage reminds us that God is a consuming fire and he is to be served acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Heb 12:28-29). Our worship of Him should show that we really know he is worthy. let’s not act folishly like Achan did in willfully and spitefully disobeying God, he will judge all unrighteousness!
Some verses to remember
Vs 26 – …….So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger….