Achan's Sin Is Still Around

by Wayne Barber

Isn't it amazing how sin will take you further than you ever wanted to stray, keep you longer than you ever intended to stay, and cost you more than you ever dreamed you'd pay? In Joshua 7:1 we find: "But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achantook some of the things under the ban; therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel."

 The ban mentioned here is the ban God ordered in chapter 6:18-19: "But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. But all the silver and gold and articles of bronze and iron are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord."

Achan couldn't resist the temptation and took some of the banned articles and his greed affected the whole nation: "therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel." Achan's sin was obviously an offense to God, but why did God's anger burn against the whole nation? Because the whole nation was in covenant with God.

The covenant, with circumcision as its physical sign, was made with Abraham, passed on to Isaac and then to Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. His descendants had renewed their covenant in chapter 5 after they crossed over the Jordan River under Joshua's leadership. This new generation had not been circumcised. Once they were circumcised, they were, as a unit, now in covenant not only with God but with one another.

As a nation, each member had a responsibility to honor and trust God. But, when one disobeyed, his sin affected the whole! They were a community. God tells them in 7:11 that because of Achan's sin, they had transgressed the covenant. The whole nation was guilty because of one man's sin. 

I wonder when we will ever learn that we, as believers, are members one of another! Paul tells us this in Romans in chapter 12:5: "so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." What one does affects the whole.

There are so many examples of this in Scripture. In Numbers 12, we have the account of Miriam's sin; God struck her with leprosy and because of her sin the whole nation was held back for seven days. All because of the sin of one person! We could look at David and the sin with Bathsheba and how it affected her husband and others, and on and on.

We are in covenant with God through Jesus Christ, and because of that we are in covenant with each other. We are members one with another. We need to encourage one another and hold each other accountable because our sin effects more than just ourselves. For instance, a Christian family runs on the same principle. A sin in the father's life affects his whole family when not dealt with under the blood of Christ.

A church is like this. We cannot expect God to pour out His blessings when there is gossip, slander, and maligning going on. This principle applies in small increments as well as the whole of the Body of Christ. Discontent in the music area affects the whole congregation. Sin in a staff member affects everyone.

Sin is a BETRAYAL of our covenant with God. It breaks the trust bond and it affects us all. Sin can not be swept under the rug. It must be put under the blood of Christ if we are going to continue to possess what God has for us.

Dwight L. Moody gives this account of God's breaking out in a meeting: He says, I remember one town that Mr. Sankey and myself visited. For a week it seemed as if we were beating the air; there was no power in the meetings. At last, one day, I said that perhaps there was someone cultivating an unforgiving spirit. The chairman of our committeegot up and left the meeting, right in view of the audience. The arrow had hit the mark. The chairman of the committee had had trouble with someone for about six months. He at once hunted up this man and asked him to forgive him. He came to me with tears in his eyes, and said: "I thank God you ever came here." That night the inquiry-room was thronged. Moody said, "The chairman became one of the best workers I have ever known, and he has been active in Christian service ever since."

How about it?  Any sin in your camp?  It is a betrayal of our covenant with God and with each other.

Wayne Barber is senior pastor of Hoffmantown Church

in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad