God takes his covenant seriously. Israel had just won a great victory and the people of Canaan were now on notice that Israel had returned to claim the land. But, as they were going into battle—one of the soldiers decided to rebel and steal some of the treasure that God had strictly forbidden them to take.
Sadly, that violated God’s command and God refused to honor Israel as long as there was sin in the camp. The result was that Israel was routed by a very insignificant enemy. Their confidence was stripped and they felt abandoned and out of fellowship with God.
God made clear that he could not bless sin. He also made clear that the people needed to be on board as a whole, there could be no exception. While his standard was high, the stakes were even higher. This was his people—they had to be faithful and follow his command. Otherwise, they would fall prey to the culture of those around them.
Nothing has changed. God still sets a standard of holiness for his people. We are to live a life worthy of his gospel. As his chosen our hearts should be different and we should not long to be like everyone else. When we allow sin in our lives, it has great cost. It robs us of blessing and it causes those that look to us to be confused and walk away from God. Finally, it begins a downward spiral that leads to a godless life of emptiness and regret. That is why our sin finds us out and we become and remain miserable while we reject his leadership. The great news is that if we confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(I John 1:9)
God Bless You
But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things[a]; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri,[b] the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.
2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai… Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”
10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. 12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to