Joshua Chapter 7: The Sorrow of Defeat & Achan’s Sin

Verses 1-9: Achan disobeyed God and took of accused things from Jericho. Because of his sin, God punished the people with defeat. When spies went to see Ai, they reported back that only 2 or 3 thousand men would be needed to defeat Ai, because they were few. But instead Ai easily defeats Israel in this case, killing 36 men. 
Joshua and the elders lament to the Lord, wondering why they were defeated. Joshua did not yet know of how Achan’s sin had created this situation.

Verses 10-26: God tells Joshua the reason for the defeat and also instructs on how to find the culprit. Achan and his family are quickly identified and to his credit, Achan comes clean. He did not seem to show much remorse, however. One wonders if he would have shown more sorrow had he known what was soon to become of him and his family. They are all taken to a valley, stoned, burned and buried in rocks for how Achan had taken the accursed things. 

This chapter gives us a clear picture of sin leading directly to consequence. Achan took the materials knowing fully that they were forbidden. Why else would he bury them? The consequences of his greed reached far, resulting in the unnecessary deaths of not only 36 men, but also all of Achan’s family, which included his sons and daughters. 

Sometimes we find ourselves in temptation, honestly considering moving ahead with the sin. Whether just for the pleasure of it, or because we have somehow justified it, we start to weigh the consequences before going through with the sin, just to see if it would be worth it. How often do we think about others in this scenario? My guess would be rarely. Our sin not only affects us, but also can create an unwanted environment for those around us. 

Achan learned the hard way! Let us learn from this example the next time we are faced with a temptation.

Joshua 6: I Love It When A Plan Comes Together


God, Faith, and Holy Destruction

Verses 1-11: Jericho was doomed from the outset. Because of its location within the promised land, and because God had said that His people would inhabit this land, it had to be destroyed. Before God gives Joshua the instructions on how to take the city, He tells Joshua that it is already his in verse 2. Joshua has shown his faith and here it is no different. Joshua tells the people exactly what to do, and follows God’s instructions to the letter.

Verses 12-21: Here we have the execution of the plan. Seven priests, each with a trumpet, march before the ark. They are followed by a rear guard and armed men lead them. The instructions: March around the city once every day for six days and the priests blow the trumpets. On the seventh day, march around seven times, the priests will blow the trumpets, and the people will shout after the trumpets are blown on the 7th time. Note the parallelism to the Creation story.

Once the walls fell, the people were to move into the city and kill all the people as well as the animals. They were to retrieve the valuable things such as gold, silver, or bronze vessels, but were to leave those things that could corrupt them such as items associated with idol worship and sin. Rahab, the harlot that hid the two messengers from Chapter 2, was also to be spared with her family.

Verses 22-27: Rahab is spared and she is saved by the same two messengers that she hid. Imagine her relief when they showed up, keeping their word after the walls of the city fell! Rahab stayed in Israel and remained due to the assistance she gave God’s people and her belief in the power of God. The city lay desolate and Joshua charged any that might rebuild it with being cursed.

In this chapter, we see just how completely God keeps His Word and follows through. Let’s think back along the chain of events that led to the destruction of Jericho. God made the initial promise that they would receive the land and that all the people within would be defeated. God replaced Moses with a great leader that has great faith and strong leadership in Joshua. When the commands came to cross the Jordan and to make the walls fall around Jericho, Joshua obeyed without question or without changing the plan. Lastly, the priests, armed men and people all obey Joshua completely. Without this steady faith, devotion and sense of purpose, things could have gone very differently.

It is amazing to understand that faith truly can move mountains. Or in this case, walls.