Jan 17, 2009

Achan - What About Forgiveness?

Joshua chapter 7 is the story of Achan.

Let me briefly remind you of Achan.

The Israelites under the leadership of Joshua just destroyed Jericho. Before the battle of Jericho, God told the Israelites that they were to destroy everything and everyone except for all the silver, gold, iron, and bronze - these would go into the treasury.

As you know after walking around Jericho seven days, on the seventh day the walls came crumbling down and the Israelites destroyed the city and everything in it. Everyone did just as God commanded except for Achan who kept some items for himself.

On the next excursion, the men who were sent out to spy out the land tell Joshua that it isn't even necessary to send all the troops into battle for the people are so feeble. So they only send about three thousand men and they just get their butts kicked.

God reveals to Joshua that Israel had sinned because some have taken some things that had been devoted to God.

So the next day God reveals to all of Israel that it was Achan. Achan confesses that he indeed took items and confesses that he had indeed sinned against God.

And this is where the story gets crazy.

We would expect that forgiveness is offered and that Achan can go about the rest of his life.

Not so. The Israelites stoned him, his family, and all his possessions!

I understand that there are consequences to sin. I understand that God is a holy and just God. But this is a hard teaching to swallow.

Achan's children and family have to pay for his crime.

But that's what really happens in all sin. Everyone does pay. Sin hurts not only the individual. Sin injures everyone around.

I know that I am guilty of taking sin way too lightly.

Forgive me God. My sin, even the smallest of sin, cost you your life. Forgive me for forgetting that.

No comments: