“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.”
~ Joshua 7:11
Hi James and Ellen,
Have you ever pulled being an Achan? Do you know an Achan? Do you know a kid who did something that disparagingly affected the other kids in his or her family as well as his or her dad and ma? Achan did something that he had been clearly told not to do that permanently affected his family. Have you ever done something that you have been clearly told not to do? What is your punishment for doing something that you were clearly told not to do? Do you think that it would be a fair punishment for you and your family to be first stoned to death – and then your body along with the bodies of your family, all your animals and everything else that you owned be burned because you did something that God clearly told you not to do? What do you think should be done with a kid – or a guy or gal, who intentionally disobeys a specific mandate from God that God expects him or her to obey? God clearly told the Israelite people group guys and gals – His specially chosen guys and gals, that they were not to take anything for themselves from the town of Jericho after the walls that surrounded the town of Jericho – because of God’s divinely orchestrated intervention, came tumbling down, allowing the Israelite people group’s guys and gals to overrun the town of Jericho. When Achan spotted a beautiful Babylonian purple robe, 200 shekels of silver and a wedge of gold in the ruins of a house in the town of Jericho, the guy could not resist the temptation to take the stuff even though the guy had been clearly told that he would be pushing a potentially devastating punishment if he did. Achan forgot that nothing ever escapes the constant vigilance of God’s eyes. Achan thought that all that he had to do was to hide in his tent the things that he chose to disobediently take from the eyes of other guys and no one would ever know what he had done. God though saw what Achan took and hid. Joshua 7 is the account of what happened next because of what Achan selfishly did to appease his greedy appetite for things and wealth.
After the town of Jericho fell, the town of Ai – which means the ruin, was next on God’s hit list of towns to be overrun and destroyed by His specially chosen guys and gals in the land that God was giving them to always to have to live in as their very own land if . . . the spies who checked out the town of Ai returned with a suggestion that no more than 3,000 guys make the 15 mile uphill trek through a ravine to the top of the central Palestinian ridge that was strategically controlling any enemy movements towards the town of Gilgal – to wipe out the town of Ai. The 3,000 guys met more opposition from the town of Ai guys than what they had expected. As the guys were running away from the town of Ai’s guys – back towards where the Israelite people group guys and gals had sent up camp, 36 Israelite people group guys were killed. Joshua got really upset about what happened with the plan to overrun the town of Ai. Joshua tore his clothes, sprawled face down on the ground in front of the Lord’s Ark of the Covenant and complained to God about what a horrid mess that He was putting His specially chosen guys and gals into in the land which He – God, was giving them to always to have to live in as their very own land if . . . Joshua thought aloud to God why He had not allowed His specially chosen guys and gals to stay on the east side of the Jordan River instead of having them cross the Jordan River only to be killed by Amorite people group guys. God was not happy with Joshua’s whining. God told Joshua that He wanted him to stand up and . . . verse 11 has God telling Joshua why what took place the way that it did, “Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.” God told Joshua to tell each one of the tribal clans to get together the next day and that He would expose through the casting of lots the sin source. The Judah tribal clan drew the first lot. The Judah Zerahite extended family drew the next lot. The Zerahite Zimri extended family unit from the Judah tribal clan drew the next lot. Finally Achan – from the Zerahite Zimri extended family unit from the Judah tribal clan drew the short straw. Achan admitted his guilt, the stuff that Achan took was found and Achan, his family, animals and stuff were taken to the Valley of Achor – where Achan, his family and animals were stoned to death by other Israelite people group guys, buried along with Achan’s stuff under the stones and then burned as a reminder to every guy that doing what Achan did was not something that they would ever want to do as . . . Achan’s self-centered disobedience resulted in 36 guys dying plus it muted a fear that was being circulating among the guys and gals who lived in the land that God was giving to His specially chosen guys and gals to always to have to live in as their very own land if . . . that they would soon be the next ones to be eradicated from the land area.
Jim Mandy pulled an Achan. Your dad arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia – with your grandpaa, grandmaa and Aunt Lynn at the end of August of 1978. A few days after your dad arrived in Bolivia, your dad rode on the back of Jim’s motorcycle to begin eighth grade at the Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center. Jim was several years older than your dad. When Jim was a kid, he, his dad, ma and little bro – Jed, lived on an Ayoré Indian reservation that was called Pozo Verde. Ask your dad about the time when Jim asked him if he would go with him on his motorcycle only to leave your dad at the New Tribes guest house. Only days after they arrived in Bolivia, your grandmaa and grandpaa were told by another South America Mission field team missionary that Jim is a pathological liar. Jim’s continual antisocial and illegal activities resulted in his dad and ma having to go back to the United States to live.
Joshua 7 (698)