God says to his people, “For I am the Lord who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). Israel is to be holy, and God is teaching them what holiness looks like.
As Israel defeated the strong and fortified city of Jericho, God instructed them to destroy everything except the silver and gold and bronze and iron, which were to go to the treasury of the Lord. Next in line was little Ai, but Ai prevailed. Joshua was dismayed, tore his clothes, and fell on his face before the Lord, but God said, ” “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 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” (Joshua 7:10-11).
What was their sin? “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to 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” (Joshua 7:1). One person disobeyed. One person stole, and the entire nation was brought to account. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. 7,500 pieces, and 7,499 in place. 1 piece missing harms all the others. 7,499 pieces get tossed. When God said “they,” he was referring to all of Israel, but he was really talking about one man, Achan.
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why does that one piece of fruit look so appealing?
Achan’s sin stood out because his sin is our sin. We are, and always are the one piece missing, because we are attracted to the glitter of gold rather than the glory of God. We are not holy and we need a Savior.
Father, thank You for life, for creation, for this world, for my family, for work to do and a purpose to live. Thank You for all the blessings You pour on me. Thank You for my church family, for worship, for Your Word, for the wonderful time in prayer, for communion, for service, for love.
Sin corrupts every good thing. I’m sorry that I find it so attractive. God, forgive me and cleanse me for the sin I do. I so desire life and life abundantly. How dim gold glitters beside Your glory. I pray that I will be so filled with Your love and Your goodness that sin will no longer look desirable. God, please put Your desires in my heart.