During the conquest of Jericho , Joshua gave clear instructions to his troops as they gathered plunder from the city… all of it was to be devoted to the LORD as “ firstfruits ” of their new riches in the Promised Land. ( Joshua 6: 17-24 ). Joshua 7:1
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During the conquest
of Jericho, Joshua gave clear instructions
to his troops as they gathered plunder from the city… all of it was to be devoted to the LORD as “firstfruits”
of their new riches in the Promised Land.
(Joshua 6: 17-24)
“But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard
to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,
the son of Zerah,
of the tribe of Judah,
took some of them.
So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.”
Joshua 7: 2-5
Assuming he has
God’s blessing to push forward in his battle plans, Joshua sends
Israel out to attack
the smaller city of Ai.
They are defeated and 36 Israelites are killed.
of the people melted in fearand became
Joshua 7: 6-9
Joshua spends hours in mourning and prayer to God, along with other elders, asking for clarity on what happened at Ai; alternating between rebuking God and passionately longing
to see His glory spread.
Joshua 7: 10-13
God responds to Joshua, stating that now is no longer the time to pray… but to act and to rid the camp of the “hidden sin” that God will help Joshua locate:
stolen, forbidden plunder from Jericho
Joshua 7: 12-13
12 “I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction. 13 Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against
your enemies until you remove them.”
Joshua 7: 14-18
God guides Joshua in narrowing down
the guilty party by tribe, then by clan, then by family…and finally by individual.
Achan is exposed by God and Joshua.
“… you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure
that your sin
will find you out.”
- Spoken by Moses just prior to his death as a warning
Joshua 7: 19-25
Achan is confronted, admits his sin and the evidence is foundburied under his family’s tent.
Since his family knew of his sin, they are stoned along with Achan; with all the plunder & their property being burned.
After this incident, Israel would receive God’s blessing to defeat Ai and would renew the covenant Moses had made with the people…reminding them of
the importance of obeying God’s Words
and the consequences for disobedience.
“Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achorever since.”
Despite this setback for Israel and the stinging reminder of their past, God would speak later through the prophets about the Valley of Achor.
God longs for this cursed
land of sadness to
be redeemed and become a place of joy & hope.
Hosea 2: 14-15 (also Isaiah 65:10)
14 “Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.15 There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor
a door of hope.There she will respond
as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.”
Moving out of Trouble and into Hope
1.) Sin (hiddenoropen) does damage:
to us, our loved ones, to our community
2.) God won’t bless our future while we
cling stubbornly to idols from our past.
3.) Seek the Lord passionately & regularly
4.) Faithfully giving our “firstfruits” to God remains a basic principle for blessing.