Read Joshua 7:1-5, 20-26; 8:1-2, 14-21; 11:23
“It was only a few small things. No one will ever know. This can secure my family’s future.” Perhaps those thoughts ran through Achan’s mind as he sorted through the precious items from Jericho. There was someone who knew, though. Yahweh God was well aware of the sin of Achan and He was angry that His covenant with the people was broken. In the next military action, the Israelites were defeated by the army of Ai, a key strategic point in the Conquest.
After the defeat, Joshua finally consulted God who revealed that someone in the community had sinned. Achan and his family were punished by being stoned to death. The people were restored to fellowship with God and they went up against AI again, defeating that city. There is irony in that God allowed the people to keep the plunder of AI. Had Achan resisted temptation the first time, he would have been rewarded.
We know that sin can affect us in many ways. We break our fellowship with God when we sin against Him. That sin, even a supposedly secret sin, can reduce the effectiveness of the church to which we belong. As believers, we should know that sin has consequences.
Before this gets to be too depressing, remember that even though we sin against God, He is always waiting for us to return to Him in repentance and faith. God is always ready to forgive us and cleanse us. If there is some sin in your life, it’s not a secret. God knows. He wants you to come to Him. He will forgive you and restore you.