On Sunday we talked about how sin progresses. Re-read these verses from Joshua 7:
Joshua 7:19-2119 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” 20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”
1. Sin starts with a look-I like/want this.
Achan saw some things that caught his attention. He saw a beautiful robe. He saw silver and gold. The things of the world appealed to him. He liked what he saw. His liking led to wanting. He admitted that he coveted things that were forbidden.
Sin, the things of the world, the things that we aren’t supposed to engage in, are going to look good to us in the flesh. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be a temptation, right? If it didn’t look good, if it didn’t appeal to us, we wouldn’t be interested. There would be no struggle. But sinning, doing those things that are off limits, creates issues in our relationship with God. What we have to understand is that we should resist sin because we want to protect the relationship we have with God. If He says something is off limits, we need to respect that relationship and stay away from it.
2. Sin continues with a leap-I need/deserve this.
We are quick to think if we desire something, we deserve it. We can leap into sin with little consideration about the dangers of what we are really doing.
Achan could have thought, “I was part of the reason we won the victory in Jericho. I marched around the city. I paid my dues. I put my life on the line. I went in and battled. Surely, I deserve part of the spoils of this war. I have earned this reward.” When we try to reward ourselves with the things of this world and the things that appeal to our flesh, when we try to reward or bless ourselves with things that are off limits, we are elevating ourselves to the position of God in our lives. We are ultimately saying we know better than God how we should be treated or rewarded.
Rather than believe God will bless us or that blessing will follow doing things God’s way, we look for a way to bless ourselves. That is sin against God as it elevates our will above His will in our lives.
3. Sin is perpetuated with lies-I can do what I want and am above the truth.
Achan hid the stuff he had taken in his tent. Do you see the folly in this whole deal? The things Achan was drawn to and wanted to enjoy were hiding in the ground in his tent. How was he enjoying them at all? Where was he ever going to wear the beautiful robe that he had stolen? He could never leave the tent with it. Everyone would know he didn’t own a Babylonian robe! How would he spend that silver without everyone questioning where he had gotten the money to buy such elaborate things?
Those things that we think we deserve and so desperately want to enjoy usually become things we have to hide and sneak around with and can’t really “enjoy” them the way we thought we would. Any time you try to hide something, you are pretending, you are faking, you are lying. Hiding something is the same as lying. Achan was living a lie. He was going on with “business as usual,” business as usual at least, until he got caught. He had no choice but to come clean. Joshua questioned the people tribe by tribe, clan by clan, and person by person. When face to face with Joshua, when he had to look him in the eye, Achan came clean.
4. Sin ends with loss-Achan enjoyed nothing he had compromised himself to acquire, and he lost his life. Not only did Achan lose his life, but his entire family was stoned and then burned. I know that sounds harsh, but it points to the severity of sin. We often think “it is no big deal,” but it is a BIG DEAL to God. The Israelites were just getting started on their conquest of the Promised Land. God couldn’t have them being disobedient from the “get-go.” He made an example of Achan and his family so that the rest of the Israelites would understand that when God said something was “off limits” it truly was.
Let’s stop the progression of sin in our lives and look to ways to protect our relationship with God by obeying Him.