The story of Achan can teach us something today as believers. Achan sinned by taking some of the plunder from the enemies the Israelites defeated earlier in battle at Jericho. One man ignored the instructions before:
But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.” [Joshua 6:18-19]
Achan coveted some of the things he saw while he was in the camp
Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the Lord. 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. Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since. (Joshua 7:19-26)
Achan’s sin affected not only himself but brought problems on both the Israelite community and his own household.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. (Ecclesiastes 9:18)
In our personal lives we can too cause ourselves many problems and also other people around us problems if we fail to address sin in our lives or if we put up with and tolerate anything or anyone who causes us to stumble.
Sinful habits failed to be addressed can cause us to lose our effectiveness for Christ, not only will we often fail to produce the fruit we ought to if we do not address wrong behaviors of our actions and attitudes of our heart- we will often cause others to stumble,
Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17)
It is too easy for us to tell ourselves “It’s just a little thing” but it is not. We will eventually drift and drift subtly that we will get so far off track we won’t realize it often till it is is a serious problem!
In Hosea chapter 7, the people of God got so comfortable with the people who did not know the Lord that they were losing vitality and not thriving.
“Ephraim mixes with the nations; Ephraim is a flat loaf not turned over. Foreigners sap his strength, but he does not realize it. His hair is sprinkled with gray, but he does not notice. (Hosea 7:8-9)
The longer we go on and fail to repent of sinful habits or separate from influences that are drawing us off the path we should be on. The harder it can become to get free or undo the mess we find ourselves in. This is why we must give God time to speak to us through His Word and point out what is in our hearts and lives we must be diligent to deal with.
The more we allow God to speak into our lives, the less we will be tripped up and we truly will experience greater freedom and victory as a result.
[Additional Reading: Hebrews 12:1-6, Proverbs 13:20]