Joshua 7 (July 13)

                                                             Achan’s Curse

            “Israel has sinned:”

            The wall of Jericho fell; the city was conquered and burned to the ground, and all the cities in Canaan “melted” with the fear of the Lord of Israel. It was a great time to be alive in the camp of Israel.

            The next step was to conquer Ai.  This was such a small town, that Joshua sent a very small envoy to capture it.   Their confidence soon turned into cowardice, as the people of God ran for their lives in defeat.

            And what was the explanation that God gave to Joshua?  “Israel has sinned.”  Why did God generalize the guilt to include all of Israel, if Achan was the only perpetrator? 

            Israel was called to be a holy nation, a people dedicated to serve the “Holy One of Israel.”  This is also the high calling of the Christian church:  An assembly of former sinners, chosen to be God’s holy people, and united in a common bond through Jesus our Lord.

            That is why we rejoice (or should rejoice) in our brother’s triumphs.  His victory is also our victory, but his defeat, becomes our failure and demise.  It is as if we had sinned with him.

            Beloved, we must pray fervently for the purification of the Church.  To remain indifferent to sin is to bring upon our own churches “Achan’s curse.”  As a rotten egg spoils a beautiful omelet; a hidden, unconfessed sin, can ruin an otherwise precious congregation of true believers.

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