I’ve been reading through the book of Joshua lately. This week I was reminded of a typical sin pattern in chapter 7. You remember the story of Achan. Israel was supposed to destroy all of Jericho (except Rahab’s family – that’s another story!) and all the spoil of war was to go to the ‘treasury of the Lord’. I won’t unpack the whole story here. Read it for yourself in chapters 6 & 7. Here’s what caught my attention.
Achan got caught taking things for himself. When identified and questioned, here’s how it went down…
Then Joshua said to 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.” 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 7:19-21
Did you see the pattern? It’s right there…
1. “I saw”
2. “I coveted”
3. “I took”
4. “They are hidden”
Can you identify with this pattern? (When you read it, underline those points in your Bible.)
- What’s so beautiful and distracting that it catches your eye? Go ahead, name something right now.
- When/What have you allowed yourself to covet? (def. yearn to possess or have)
- What have you taken? You may think back to a stolen cookie or a toy, but If you’re honest, you’ve probably taken many things in your mind… remember Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” 5: 27-28
- What are you hiding? Isn’t it funny that most of the time, we have to hide the things that we know are sinful? You don’t even get to enjoy it because you know it’s wrong.
Here’s a challenge for you men. The next time you’re hanging with some Wise Guys, (that’s what I call the guys I meet with on Friday mornings) ask each other these questions. When one of you is willing to break the ice by being honest and transparent, you’ll be amazed by how God uses this time to purify.
But, don’t leave each other in that space. Remind yourself and your brothers of the gospel…
Achan and his family died because of his sin. God is just, that’s what we all deserve…
For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23a
But He’s also merciful…
But the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23b
And when you or one of your guys is feeling like there’s simply no hope, run quickly to…
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8
(Make note of Romans 6:23 and Romans 5:6-8 in your Bible at this spot as well.)
Yes, there’s a clear pattern of sin, but thankfully there’s also a complete plan for redemption.