Monday, March 20, 2017

The Sin of Achan

Today’s Bible Reading:  Joshua 7-8; Psalm 69; 1 Corinthians 5
Topic: Corruption

SCRIPTURE:  Joshua 7:1; 10-12

1 But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord's anger burned against Israel. (Josh 7:1 NIV)

10 The Lord said to Joshua, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. (Josh 7:10-12 NIV)


The sin of Achan was that he had taken “devoted things” for his own possession. The Hebrew term for “devoted things” cherem means things which the Lord has declared must be totally given over to Him—totally removed from our lives—utterly destroyed. To covet and hold on to such “things” is an individual sin before God, but that sin is compounded to societal sin when society allows the sin to continue unchecked. The Israelites were weakened as a nation; they were unable to stand against their enemies; they were made fearful; they were “made liable to destruction” as long as those sins were allowed to continue unabated.


There is a spiritual principle illustrated in this passage. I see both individual and societal applications.

As an individual, have I taken hold of attitudes, life styles, opinions, behaviors, etc. that God would term as cherem? Have I allowed myself to become self-absorbed and self-governing? Have I become my own justifier as to what is right and wrong? Have I become infected with an Achan-like sin? Or worse yet, have I become a profligate disseminator of those sins to my society.

As a society, have we allowed our collective consciousness to be permissive of beliefs and behaviors that God has declared cherem? Has the majority opinion of our society become one of practicing and celebrating these “things”?

If so, we should not be surprised to find ourselves weakened. It should be expected that we find ourselves fearful and running, because God, “will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.”


Lord, open our eyes to see the sin of Achan in our own hearts. Give us the courage to give up those “devoted things” to You and eliminate them from our lives, that we may be spared from destruction and enjoy the peace and prosperity Your blessings bring. Through Christ. Amen.  -AP

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