Joshua was elated. He now was leading the people of Israel into thier inheritance. They had listened to all that he told them and followed God’s commands. Jericho had fallen and the people followed God’s command regarding bringing all the valuable things to the treasury. OR DID THEY???!!!
Sadly, the family of Achan had stolen some treasures and it cast Israel out God’s favor. Joshua moved forward to the next battle and got whipped. All the preparation all the faith gone in a day. The people lost confidence and Joshua also lost confidence.I am sure Joshua thought, what else could I have done? He led with faith, holiness, and steady input from God.
Three points stand out. First, no matter how committed the leader is he is still subject to the behavior and attitudes of those he leads. Joshua had no control over Achan–but as the leader he was still responsible.
Second, Peoples sin, no matter how secretly they commit it, impacts many others in their lives. Achan not only destroyed his family with his sin, but he destroyed the lives of many others and the reputation of his nation.
Third, our sin impacts the perception of the godless regarding the strength and reality of God. Achan’s sin led to a defeat by a weak group Ai. The other nations scoffed at the mighty Israel. If that is all they have, their God is no worry for our gods!
Sadly, Joshua’s leadership had not completely alleviated the Israelites sinful nature and Achan’s act exposed that quite clearly. Achan lacked faith and selflessness. The people’s blood turned to water–they were scared spitless! Joshua, the mighty leader even questioned both his ability and the ability of God to complete the covenant.
The comfort comes in how Joshua recovers. For now, suffice it to say that even as we lead and trust God, Life throws curves that shake the very foundations of our faith and confidence in God. Like Joshua, we want to rip our robes and scream, “what else can I do, God?”
The response is simple–look at our lives and assess our own daily walk. Second realize we cannot control everyone’s behavior, but we can listen to God and follow His lead as we minister and hold others up in prayer. Finally, we must maintain faith in trials, and see God in the best and worst of circumstance.
Difficult times scream out, “cling to God!” The old hymn says it best, “Trust and Obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!”
God Bless You
But the people of Israel broke faith regarding the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
2 Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not have all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the whole people toil up there, for they are few.” 4 So about three thousand men went up there from the people. And they fled before the men of Ai, 5 and the men of Ai killed about thirty-six of their men and chased them before the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them at the descent. And the hearts of the people melted and became as water.
6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the Lord until the evening, he and the elders of Israel. And they put dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say, when Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will you do for your great name?” The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. 12 Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction.[a] I will be with you no more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you