And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. The Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had wonted them with stones. Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day. ~Joshua 7:23-26
Over the past month or so I have been blogging about Joshua, the Israelites, and how the sin of Achan has affected the entire nation of Israel (catch up on the story in the archives). In the last few verse of Joshua 7 we see how the LORD deals with Achan. He is stoned and all that is his, including his family, is burned. I realize there is a little confusion with the singular and plural pronouns (him and them); however, I believe that Achan’s entire family was held accountable for the items found in the his tent.
Now, if you are like me, your first thought is THAT’S NOT FAIR! Should Achan’s family really be punished for something he did?
But lets hold on for just a minute. If we believe that God’s punishment isn’t fair, what are we really saying about God? We are saying that He isn’t fair, that He isn’t just, that He isn’t soverign. Do we honestly feel that way? I don’t.
In fact, I believe that God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He loves me and he loves Achan and his family. He hasn’t changed and won’t change. So with that faith in God in mind, lets revisit the last few verses of Joshua 7.
Is this unfair? No, God is just. Achan took several items that he wasn’t suppose to and he burried them in his tent, which means he had to dig a big hole and that took time. Think about this for a minute. If you had to dig a big hole in the middle of your families living space, do you think someone would notice? Most likely, right? Achan’s family was aware of his actions and they did nothing to stop him or reveal his disobedience. They went along with Achan’s plan to keep the loot. They were guilty as well.
Now, the scripture does not tell us the thoughts of the Achan’s family. We don’t know their hearts. When they found out maybe Achan’s sons coveted the gold and silver just like dad. Maybe his daughter had a whatever! attitude, “That’s his problem.” Perhaps his wife was more concerned with what the neighbors might think if they found out. Maybe. We don’t know, but the point is The Lord did! The Lord knew their hearts and because He is all-knowing knew how to deal with Achan and his family.
God is just. Period. Does our faith agree with that? My faith may not always, but I sure want it to.
And the apostles said to The Lord, “Increase our faith.” ~ Luke 17:5
Lord, reading Your word can sometimes be difficult. When I don’t understand what is being said or what is going on in scripture it is easy for me to write it off as unfair. Other times I just move past it completely with little thought. Forgive me. Please Lord, help me to see the importance in taking the time to understand You. When I seek You, thank You for taking the time to reveal Yourself to me, little ol’ me! Lord, while my faith is still small please take it, use it, and increase it. In Your name. Amen.
I hope my thoughts help you understand how this scripture can be applied to our modern lives, but don’t just take my word for it. Dive into The Bible yourself, pray, and ask the Lord to reveal His truth to you.
Have a question or a thought? Please feel free to leave a comment.