When you think back over your life, or now for that matter, do you remember a time when you did something wrong? Of course you do! We all have those moments. Did you ever sneak and eat a cookie when your mom or dad told you not to? Have you ever called a friend when your parents told you not to? Have you ever went over to a friend’s house when you were told not to go? What about playing with fireworks when your parents told you not to? Honestly, that happened to me, and let me tell you, the consequences were severe! Think about it, what stands out in your mind when you disobeyed your parents, teacher, or someone in authority? What were the consequences for disobedience? Did you learn your lesson? Yes, we are all sinners and we make mistakes. However, there are still consequences for our rebellious moments.
The people of Israel are not immune to consequences. Time and time again they disobeyed and had to pay the price for their rebellion. In Joshua 7:1-26, the Bible tells us that, “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things” (Joshua 7:1). As you read further through the text, we are introduced to Achan, a man who rebelled against God, and consequently, his sin affected the people of Israel. The Bible tells us that Joshua sent men to spy out the land in Ai, in hopes of conquering the land. Men were sent in confidence that victory would happen. However, the men of Israel were defeated and lost about thirty-six men. This shocked the people of Israel tremendously, in fact, the Bible says, “the hearts of the people melted and became as water” (Joshua 7:5). The Bible tells us that Joshua laments the loss. In fact, he didn’t understand. However, God tells Joshua that His covenant with them was transgressed, meaning, someone did not do what they were told to do. Someone had sinned against God, therefore, it had to be confronted and dealt with. In response, Joshua gathers the tribes of Israel to confront the matter. When it is all said and done, Achan is confronted, and confesses to his sin. He says, “Truly I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel” (Joshua 7:20-21). Achan confesses to sinning against God by taking items that he was not supposed to take. Moreover, he went and hid them inside his tent.
The consequences of Achan’s sin were severe.
The people of Israel lost men in battle, and Achan, along with his sons and daughters, was stoned (Joshua 7:22-26). The consequences for Achan’s sin was disastrous, not only to him and family members, but also to a whole group of people. This is a tragic story of a man who did not do as God asked, therefore, had to face the consequences of his rebellion. At the end of Joshua 7, the Bible tells us that God “turned from his burning anger.” Moreover, at the beginning of Joshua 8 God says, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed.” Joshua and the people of Israel found hope with God. There is always forgiveness and hope with God.
When did you face consequences for your rebellion and sin?
Have you ever repented to God for your sin? If not, God is readily available to hear our prayers of repentance.