History reveals that Joshua would take Moses’ place to lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan. God gave order that all that was within the city of Jericho be devoted to Him, nothing was exempt. The next city on the military campaign was to be Ai. However, the Israelites are not victorious against this city! Why? All that was in the city of Jericho was not given to God as He required. Achan has not followed the orders. What led to his disobedience?
First, there is the TEMPTATION that he faced. “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Joshua 7:21). Achan allowed covetousness to be a temptation to him. He saw the various items from the spoil of war and he desired them. They belonged to God. This city and all that was therein was to be devoted to Him. Satan is the great tempter of mankind. He began with Adam and Eve and will continue until time is no more. James writes about this when he says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death” (James 1:12-15). We don’t need to be like Achan. We need to try to be like Jesus and resist the temptations of Satan (Matt. 4:1-10). God provides faith by which we can resist and overcome the devil (1 Peter 5:8, 9).
Next, there was the TRANSGRESSION. Achan did not sin by looking at the garment, silver and gold. He, however, allowed his desire to cause him to take it and hide it. It was not his have. It belonged to God. The same happened to David as he looked upon Bathsheba. He took her when she was not his. She belonged to Uriah. Will we be like Achan and allow our evil desires to cause us to transgress the word of God? Transgression is breaking the commandments of our Lord. “Whsoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Do we allow our desires to cause us to sin? Sin can have great allurement! But we shouldn’t give in to the temptation. Sin, if not forgiven, we cause one to be lost (Romans 6:23).
The last lesson we can learn from Achan is about his CONFESSION. “And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him, and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me” (Joshua 7:19). His sin is known. It didn’t matter that he had tried to hide it. God is all knowing. He is aware of all that goes on, the good and the bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). We, like Achan, may attempt to hide our sins. We may think that because no one knows, no one saw us or we hid it that we are free and safe from punishment. That was the mistake of Achan. He is required to make confession of the wrong that he had done. His sin had not only affected him but the entire nation. Our sin will affect more people than we think. Achan’s confession of sin did not remove him from consequences. Regardless of the consequences we need to repent and confess our sins.
Don’t be Achan!