In my devos this morning I was reading Joshua 6 & 7. A story I have read and heard so many times in the past, but this morning was different. The word “family” popped right off the page when I read Joshua 7:25 "Then Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought trouble on us? The Lord will now bring trouble on you.” And all the Israelites stoned Achan and his family and burned their bodies.” I know, not the feel good scripture about family that you may have anticipated, but take a minute and ponder on this with me.
When Joshua led the people of Israel to defeat Jericho, they were given clear instructions from the Lord. “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury.” Joshua 6:18-19. Pretty simple instructions. Clear and to the point, do not take anything for yourselves or you will be destroyed and cause trouble for everyone else. God spoke and obedience was required.
However, a man by the name of Achan had a different idea. I’m sure he felt he had good reason and had great need, but he was disobedient to the Lord. Achan had taken some items for himself and hid them.
Now let’s take a minute and look back… God said that those who took items for themselves would be destroyed and cause trouble on the camp. You see, in Achan’s selfish act he not only disobeyed God, but in Joshua chapter 7 it also talks about the fact that the Israelites went to battle and lost. That wasn’t because they were week, it wasn’t because they were forsaken, it was because of one mans disobedience.
Wow, think about that… You mean my disobedience can effect other people? No, let me say it this way, my disobedience, your disobedience WILL effect others. When God speaks to us, He is giving us clear direction on what He has set out before us. We may not know the big picture and we may not know all the details, but our obedience is what is required. For Achan knowing that Israel was defeated, in this battle, because of his disobedience was probably bad enough, but it wasn’t the end.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Achan was confronted and asked to come clean. He did. He told them exactly where the plunder was. And they lived happily ever after… NOT! You see God said that disobedience would cause you yourself to be destroyed, but it also caused his family to be killed as well.
Humbling moment to know that my decisions will effect my family and those around me. When I am obedient to the Lord I releasing blessing, but in my disobedience I release destruction. As a culture we get used to the idea that “it only effects me,” or that some things “might effect those around me,” but that’s not the case. Our decisions WILL effect our families, our friends, our communities and our churches. Let’s be men and women of God who bring on His blessing, not destruction… People are counting on your obedience. My family is counting on my obedience.
God is faithful to His word, I want to be faithful to obeying it!