This chapter recounts Achan’s sin and the consequences of his sin.
Prior to the Israelites’ victory over the battle of Jericho, Joshua had warned the Israelites to keep away from the devoted things of Jericho. The whole city of Jericho was to be devoted to God except for Rahab and her household. Silver and gold, articles of bronze and iron were to go into the Lord’s treasury. Anyone who disobeyed would make the Israelites’ camp liable to destruction.
Achan, in direct disobedience to God, fueled by his covetousness kept a beautiful Babylonia robe, silver and gold for himself. Earlier in their exodus from Egypt, the Lord had commanded against covetousness.
Achan’s behavior shows that he did not fear God. He was so drawn to the worldly things that he did not fear destruction would befall him as the Lord had warned through Joshua.
The Israelites thought they could easily take down Ai, but there were sorely mistaken when three thousand of their men were ultimately struck down by their enemies. God revealed to Joshua the reason for their loss was due their unfaithfulness in regard to the devoted things. God is holy. He will not tolerate sin in His covenant relationship with the Israelites. God outright told Joshua He will not be with him unless he destroys whatever among him that is devoted to destruction.
When Achan was finally identified as the one who had sinned. He paid a hefty price: He and all that belonged to him including his family were stoned and burned to death! It may sound like a very harsh punishment, but an example needed to be made out of this incident to remind the people of God the seriousness of sin and God’s holiness.
Achan’s sins cause the death of many Israelites in the battle with Ai. Ultimately the judgment of his sin extended to his sons and daughters as well.
When we sin, we can expect dire consequences awaiting us and those around us including our love ones.
However, we are not without hope, though we live in a body tainted by the seed of sin, Jesus Christ has paid the price of our sin by His death on the cross. The confession of our sins and acceptance of what Jesus has done on our behalf frees us from the ultimate penalty of sin- eternal separation from God.
Praise be to God for His mercy and grace! —- Lai Yee Leong