There was a small detail Joshua was missing. There was sin in the camp. Don’t miss this statement God made: “I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” Basically until you eliminate the sin, you do not have a chance. So they started a massive search for any items that were taken from Jericho. They eventually found the individual, Achan.
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord.24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”
The Lord was not going to bless the people with sin in the camp. Basically God said you should not move another inch until you find the sin. Often times we wonder why God is not blessing us; maybe we even feel he is deliberately holding back his blessings. The answer may be that there is sin in the camp. God made it abundantly clear He would not bless sin.
Another important note is that sin affected everyone in the camp, not just the guilty. Some innocent people even lost their lives because of it. Often times we want to overlook sin, thinking it will only disrupt the life of the individual. However, in Joshua, it affected the guilty person, the whole camp, and all of Achan’s family. There is an old saying: “sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you were willing to pay.” When we ignore sin, it continues to perpetuate and causes a wake of destruction. In this story God wants Achan and all of his family killed, and all of his possessions destroyed. God’s consequences are very serious when we turn from Him to indulge in sin. Achan cost the lives of his family, and 36 innocent men.
What if just one person reminded Achan not to take the plunder, or maybe reported immediately that he was walking in sin? This might have forever changed the fate of his family. But because they were quiet, and were believed to have knowledge of the sin, they perished right along with him. Sometimes we think holding people accountable is too hard. I ask you this question: Would it not be better for us to confront our Christian brother or sister in love, rather than turn a blind eye, and allow the world to devour them? Would it not be better for us to cause momentary anguish and pain in order to save their life? Would it not be better to cause guilt and shame that led to repentance and healing?
James 5:20 “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”
In Joshua chapter eight the Bible says, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king…..
When we are willing to confront sin and dismiss it from the camp, then and only then will God allow his presence and blessings to flow.
What is sin?
Man call is an accident, God calls it abomination.
Man calls it a defect, God calls it a disease.
Man calls it an error, God calls it an enmity.
Man calls it a liberty, God calls it lawlessness.
Man calls it a trifle, God calls it a tragedy.
Man calls it a mistake, God calls it a madness.
Man calls it a weakness, God calls it willfulness.