Achan decided that he was going to take a few riches out of the city of Jericho for himself. It seemed harmless enough; “A robe from Babylon, two hundred silver pieces, and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels.”, Joshua 7:21. Who would miss that! He had no idea, However, his blatant disobedience of God’s instructions impacted the entire army of Israel, and eventually his own future.
After the fall of Jericho, Joshua sent men to go and spy out the land of Ai. They returned with a report that they didn’t need many men to defeat this army. Joshua was not aware at the time that Achan had stolen goods in his possession. The Lord was not happy with this and as a result, was not going to honor this fight, and the COI lost, and lost some lives in the process. Joshua was pained and confused. Knowing God would not just abandon them, he cried out and asked, “What gives GOD?”.
God replied to Joshua’s inquire and prayer, along with the leaders who cried out for His help and understanding in this matter. What they found broke Joshua’s heart, “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenantal commands!“, Joshua 7:10. Basically, because there is sin within the group, God would not allow this win in their favor. He then said to them, “I will no longer be with you, UNLESS you destroy what has CONTAMINATED you. GET UP! GO AND TELL THE PEOPLE THIS:…“, Joshua 7:12-13.
When something is contaminated and has contact with others, it doesn’t just stay contained, it actually infects all that comes in contact with it. While Achan may have been the one who disobeyed and took the riches of Jericho, there I am sure, were those who witnessed what he did, perhaps watching from afar. Seeing him take the gold, silver, clothing, jewels and such. Perhaps there were those who accepted gifts from Achan, in order to keep them quiet. Knowing they too heard the command, but willing to take stolen goods, because they didn’t directly steal it. Was God that strict? Was He that hung up on just a few items?
Contamination happens not just by touching an unclean thing, but it also can happen by witnessing an unclean act and making a very deep impression in our minds. Achan disobeying God revealed a WALL that lay deep within his heart. A test of TRUST and dependability to represent God to the entire world, and even more closely, to his own family and friends.
We are the greatest witnesses to those around us, as to the power that God has to sustain, keep, and provide for us. That won’t always mean having what we want when we want it, but it does mean that God would never withhold anything from us that we need. It takes a surrendered heart to be willing, even when it feels or seems as though it’s right there at our grasp, and all we have to do is take it, yet leave it behind. When God has made it clear that it isn’t ours to have, we must let it go. Even if it belongs to someone else who seems to not want it or deserve it. It is at those moments that we must stand on God’s promises, that He has our best interest at heart and WILL SUPPLY, and keep us…even in the most tempting times. Obey, and leave the results to Him, and those watching will get a small glimpse of a much bigger plan for our lives and their own.
Psalms 84:11, “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: NO GOOD THING will he withhold from them that WALK UPRIGHT.“