Scripture Reading:  Joshua 7:12-21

“And Achan answered Joshua, ‘Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I did:  when I saw among the spoil a beautiful cloak from Shinar, and 200 shekels of silver, and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, then I coveted them and took them.  And see they are hidden in the earth inside my tent, with the silver underneath.'” (Joshua 7:20,21)

Jesus said, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed or hidden that will not be known” (Luke 12:2).  God knows everything we do, even our “secret sins.”  Nothing can be hidden from Him.  We may be able to fool others, but we cannot fool the Lord God.  God gave instructions to Joshua to bring each tribe before him and the Lord revealed that the one who had committed the sin was of the tribe of Judah.  Then eventually God revealed the man who had taken the items that were under the ban at Jericho — His name was Achan (vs. 16-18).

Joshua confronted Achan — “My son, give glory to the Lord God of Israel and give praise to Him.  And tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me” (v. 19).  Achan confessed his sins to Joshua (vs. 20,21).

Let’s look carefully at the sins of Achan.  First, Achan was dissatisfied with the way God had ordered his life.  Surely he had been concentrating on his past difficulties.  During the years in the wilderness, he had no opportunity to make it in life; he and the people had just been able to survive.  This dissatisfaction gave birth to disobedience.  We must learn to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (Philippians 4:11-13).

Second, Achan coveted what was not his — gold, silver and a beautiful robe from Babylon.  He violated the Tenth Commandment.  Covetousness can lead to many different expressions of sin — thievery, adultery, murder, etc.  Do you remember how David coveted another man’s wife?  It led to him committing adultery with her and to having Bathsheba’s husband killed.

Third, his dissatisfaction and covetousness led to his stealing the articles that were under God’s ban (6:17-19).  Dissatisfaction and covetousness are internal issues.  Failing to get a handle on these things will inevitably lead to some external sinful act.

Sin is deceitful.  It can sneak up on us if we are not careful.  Hear the words of warning from James, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:14,15).  This is precisely what happened to Achan!  His dissatisfaction and covetousness (inward desires) lured him and enticed him to take those things that God claimed for Himself.  As we will see, his sin led to his death.

Jesus said, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

Lord Jesus, let me heed Your words.  Let me be on guard against all covetousness.  I confess that I struggle with this sin too often.  I become dissatisfied with the things I have and want things that belong to others.  Forgive me.  Let me find my satisfaction in You alone, for You are my treasure and my hope.


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