"But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel." (Joshua 7:1 KJV)
Sometimes we don't realize the full implications of what Our Awesome God does because we don't see the big picture or know all the details, especially not as He does. The defeat at Ai of Joshua's forces was shocking, considering they had quickly taken heavily defended Jericho without a casualty. Flushed with success and overconfident, they neglected to consult with God before attacking Ai. This little city, with few people to defend it, soundly defeated God's chosen people. Did they get careless? What could they have done to cause God to allow this terrible defeat?
The marvelous victory at Jericho, a city Our Awesome God had put under a ban, had made the Israelites feel great and on a high mountain top. But this is often where your greatest defeats occur. For something to be under a ban, it meant one of two things. First, every living thing was to be completely destroyed. This has been called barbaric and primitive, nothing less than the murder of innocent lives. The Canaanites, however, were by no means innocent. They were a vile people who practiced the basest forms of immorality, including child sacrifice. God had given them over four hundred years to repent, but now their iniquity had become full (Genesis 15:16 KJV). So Jericho had fallen to the Israelites who were directly commanded by Our Awesome God for they were a true theocracy (Exodus 23:27-30 KJV).
Second, all the valuable objects, like gold and silver, were to be dedicated to the Lord’s treasury. This was evidently to be done as a kind of first fruits of the conquest, and as an evidence of the people’s trust in the Lord’s supply for the future (Leviticus 27:28-29 KJV). So Our Awesome God could not let the breaking of His rules of ban and the stealing of His objects go with only a small consequence. He had to make the guilty ones an object lesson. He had Achan, his family and his animals stoned by the Israelites and burned with fire (Joshua 7:25-26) after Achan confessed.
Our Awesome God held all of the nation of Israel accountable for the sin of Achan (Joshua 7:11 KJV). He made each Israelite know there would be consequences for their sins. God made all the Canaanites fear Him and Israel, and for the next 25 years, Joshua's army, with God's support, won the battles against the Canaanites.
Join us at LWBC every Sunday at 9:30 AM, we have small group Bible Studies and at 10:30 AM, we meet in the sanctuary for Worship Service. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with AWANA for children until 7:30 PM.
Flo & Bill