The Price Of Sinning Against GodAuthor: Esaú Crespo
The book of Joshua speaks about the battle carried out by Israel fighting with the God's help to overthrow the Canaanites. Moses had already died and the responsibility to guide the people of Israel was now under Joshua.
Israel won many victories because God was fighting on its behalf. All Israel had to do was obey God's commands given through His servant Joshua. One of the truths we learn from this book is about the foundation of obedience to God to be successful in every endeavor; it also teaches us that God's people is one body and the disobedience of one member affects the rest. The passage covers a great deal of importance because through Achan's sin, all of Israel was about to perish. The Achan's sin seems insignificant before our eyes, but before the eyes of God, a small act of disobedience is as harmful as the most vulgar sin man can commit. We see, therefore, what happened with the man of our story and how he affected the rest of the people of Israel.
I. The warning about sin. (V. 10) (6:18,19).
In the case at hand, Joshua had already warned about the sin of taking the anathema (Herem), that is to say the treasure that belongs to God (6:18,19). Here we have a case of a Holy War because in reality, it was God the one who was fighting because Israel was not prepared militarily to fight against the Canaanites. Any dispossessions from the battles belonged exclusively to God alone, all gold, silver and articles of bronze and iron was sacred, nobody, neither the priests, nor Joshua or the soldiers could touch what belonged to the Lord of the armies of Israel.
The Bible teaches that God warns us about the consequences of sin. Everyone had to learn that victory belongs to God and the way to show it was by burning the plunders so that children and adults alike would remember that victory was God's alone. God does not condemn anyone by his acts without first defining that such an act is a sin and therefore there will be consequences for anyone who breaks the divine laws. The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians reveals that before the law of Moses people committed adultery, coveted, etc. and they were without blame, but once the law was introduced they knew such acts were sins. There are other examples where we can see Gods love and wisdom helping humanity through his just and holy laws.
- Warning against alcohol. (Proverbs 23:31-33).
- Warning on the result of the adultery. (Proverbs 6:23-29).
"The man is reduced to a loaf of bread".
- Warning against all forms of sin. (Numbers 32:23).
Nevertheless, in spite of God's warnings, there will always be people willing to do their own will without regard to the will of God...and that was exactly Achan's attitude. He knew that the plunders belonged to God and even so he committed his sinned against God.
Many persons believe they can sin against God and get away with it, however, sooner or later God's judgment will come down against those who deliberately sin against Him.
II. The consummate sin. (V. 21).
Jericho was a very prosperous city, its significant wealth is evident from its remains. Archaeologists say Jericho is the oldest city of the world; it precedes the pyramids of Egypt, therefore, is easy to imagine the quantity of riches the city had accumulated, arousing greed in anyone's heart. The fear of God must be firmly rooted in our hearts to keep us from falling into such inviting temptation.
- The process of the sin. (V. 21).
- I saw. Generally every sin begins through the senses, in this case, the sense of sight. The Bible frequently instruct us not to take this step:
"Do not gaze at wine when it is red". Proverbs 23:31.
"anyone who looks...". Matthew 5:28.
"For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." I John 2:16,17
It is easier to stop looking than stop coveting. When we reach the coveting stage there is very little left to consummate sin. Greed is generally provoked by that which does not belongs to us: My neighbor's wealth, another man's wife, etc. This will become clearer when we read Exodus 20:17. Psychologists talk about "reverse psychology" where people are more likely to do that which is forbidden to them. A sinner finds most attractive that which is forbidden than that which is not.
- King Ahab's Greed led him to murder a just man, Naboth, so that he could take over his land. King Ahab was extremly rich, but his greatest thrill was coveting Naboths small vineyard.
- Greed causes people to commit evil. (James 4.1,2).
- Greed ruined Budd Dwyer's the life, Pennsylvania's State Treasurer. Millions of dollars passed through his hands and after seeing such wealth was overwhelmed with greed and believed he would never get caught, but when his fraud was discovered he was indicted and decided to commit suicide before the television cameras by putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger.
- I took. Consummation of sin. There was no turning back.
God has given human beings a defense mechanisms, but there are moments in life in which man finds himself in situations where such mechanisms no longer function, such is the case of the man that incubates in his soul the sin of greed. In the case of Achan, pride and selfishness were satisfied. Achan never thought his sin would ever be discovered.
In much the same way happens with many people who believe their wickedness will never be discovered. We cannot fool God. (I Timothy 5:24).
When we see the sin committed by our early fathers, we realize that the process was the same: I Saw, I coveted and I took. That was the process of sin, later on came the consequences and there was no turning back but to carry the consequences of sinning against God. (Genesis 3:6).
III. The tragic consequences of sin. (vs. 15,24-26).
- Achan Perished. Sin brings to disgrace to all those who commit it.
- Achan's family perished. The entire family suffers when one of its members sins against God.
- The entire community suffered. The failure of a nation originates with the failure of the individuals.
IV. Jesus wants to reduce the consequences of sin.
In Jesus there is solution:
- To sin itself
- To the guilt of sin
- To the consequences of the sin
The apostle Paul teaches us that the Scripture were written for our consolation. This passage was written to teach us that the most secret sins we have committed against God will always be exposed because there is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed. Achan hid his sin for some time, but the moment arrived when it was discovered and then came misery and disgrace for him and his family. The Bible teaches that we are all sinners, but the Bible also tells us that the blood of the Lord Jesus cleans us of every sin.