Achan's Sin

Achan went his own way -- instead of God's way.

His sin was disobedience.

He tried a different way than God had instructed. He followed his own plan instead of following God's plan.

He took what God said was His.

He tried to live a double life. He was a hypocrite.

Mankind comes up with many plans. But unless they are God's plan, they are doomed to failure. It may seem reasonable and right to us, but we are not God. We should remember that.


In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve did the same thing. They went another

way than the one God told them to.

Why? The devil told them it was the best way, and they believed it. They believed that God was holding out on them -- that He did not really want the best for them.


Many today do the same with adultery. God clearly told us not to do it -- yet many do.

Why? The devil and the flesh pressures them. They believe they can get away with it. They believe God wants to withhold something good from them.


What about tithing? God's Word teaches it. Do you do it? Do all other Christians? Why not?

Isn't it the same reason? The devil tells us God does not want the best for us. He wants to take our money away from us.

But, is that true?


Jericho was the first fruits. God always has claimed the first fruits as His own.

JOSHUA 6:16-20 NKJ
16 ... Joshua said to the people: "Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!
17 "Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. ....
18 "And you, by all means keep yourselves from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
19 "But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord."
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

God gave clear orders, through Joshua, about Jericho. They worked well, even though they seemed crazy. This was their first conquest in the promised land.

God told them not to keep anything for themselves. The word "accursed," in verse 18, means dedicated. God said the whole city was to be devoted to Him. All but the metals in it were to be destroyed.

God was not trying to keep blessing from them -- why then would He give them the promised land? He was trying to make them rich with wealth they had not worked for. He was giving it all to them. Yes, they had to possess it with God's help. But they did not have to produce it or earn it.

Israel was now in their promised land which flowed with milk and honey. They had an easy victory at Jericho, which was a formidable, almost impossible, conquest. Then they began to make mistakes.


1 But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan ... took of the accursed things; so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.

Israel disobeyed God. You have to think more highly of yourself than you should, to disobey God willingly. Actually, you are saying by your actions that you know better than God. That is pride.

3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, "Do not let all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not weary all the people there, for the people of Ai are few."
4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.

Joshua, thrilled with the easy victory over Jericho, listened to the people's advice about Ai. They thought it was so small there was no need to bother taking the whole army.

They advised Joshua to send only two or three thousand men. Scripture never mentions Joshua asking the Lord what they should do.

Have you ever made that mistake? It is especially easy to do when you are successful, as Joshua was then. They had just done the impossible at Jericho. So they thought Ai would be easy. They were lifted up in pride.


5 And the men of Ai struck down about thirty-six men, for they chased them ... and struck them down ... therefore the hearts of the people melted and became like water.

After one man out of Israel's vast army sinned, trouble came on them all at their next battle. Before, they were invincible. Now, they were like ordinary people, without God's help.

Innocent men died in battle, because of Achan's sin. What one did affected others, as it always does.

26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.


When Israel realized God was not helping them, they despaired. They knew they were no match for the "giants of the land" without God's help.

JOSHUA 7:6,10-12 NKJ
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads.
10 So the Lord said to Joshua: "Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face?
11 "Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff.
12 "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you.

The reason God's people were destroyed then was not because of God's failure. Do you think it is any different today? The reason Israel could not stand before their enemies was because of disobedience.

JOSHUA 7:13-15 NKJ
13 "Get up, sanctify the people, and say, 'Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: "There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you."
14 'In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. ....
15 'Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.' "

God's remedy was not a light one. He let them know that His blessing could not be with them while they had sin in their camp. God said the offending one had to be eliminated.


JOSHUA 7:19-21 NKJ
19 So Joshua said to Achan, "My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me."
20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done:
21 "When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it."

Achan could not hide his sin from God. He was found out and confessed

to his sin. His sin was disobedience to a clear, known command of God.


The root causes of Achan's sin were probably greed, pride, and unbelief.

Pride, because he thought his way was better than God's way.

Greed, because he wanted what God said he should not have.

Unbelief (or fear), because he thought God might not really bless him in the future, so he should keep what he had now, just in case.


JOSHUA 7:24-26 NKJ
24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.
25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. ....

In the end it did not profit Achan. Neither will disobedience to God's Word profit you. Maybe it will temporarily -- but not in the end.

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