Bible Character: Achan

Bible Character: Achan

Good morning everyone.

Today we will switch to the Bible character from the Old Testament.

The stories of men and women in the Bible are an excellent teaching tool.

The Bible clearly shows the nature of man.

It reveals our sinful nature and how we all have come short of the glory of God.

The Bible tells us that God hates sin, and He will judge it.

God is holy and righteous. 

He always stays true to what He says He will do.

He never changes.

Today we will see the life of a man who ended up having his all family destroyed because of his disobedience to God.

We will look at the life of Achan. 

His story is recorded in the Book of Joshua.

Our key verse for today’s lesson is from [Joshua 7:1].

Let us read it aloud together.

Joshua 7:1  But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

First of all, let us have a quick review of what has happened. 

Joshua was the next leader after Moses, appointed by God, to lead the Israelites into the land of promise [Deuteronomy 31:14].

Deuteronomy 31:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thy days approach that thou must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation.

After the death of Moses, Joshua took over the leadership to bring the Israelites to go over the Jordan.

Now we will fast forward to the sixth chapter of the Book of Joshua.

The Israelites approached the city of Jericho.

By this time, the city was shut entirely [Joshua 6:1].

Joshua 6:1  Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

God told Joshua how He would like him to do to win over the city [Joshua 6:3-5].

Joshua 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

Joshua 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Joshua 6:5  And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.

Joshua obeyed God’s instruction and commanded the people to do the same.

He also pronounced the curse to the city of Jericho. 

He also instructed the Israelites to take nothing out from Jericho. 

Only the silver, gold, and vessels of brass and iron would come to the treasury of the Lord [Joshua 6:17-19].

Joshua 6:17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent.

Joshua 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.

Joshua 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

The sixth chapter ended with the fall of Jericho, just like what God has told Joshua.

Now we will begin the seventh chapter, which is our main story for today’s lesson.

Let us go to [Joshua 7:1].

Joshua 7:1  But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.

The chapter begins with the man named Achan, who disobeyed the instruction given earlier.

Disobedience is a sin. 

He took the accursed thing from the city of Jericho.

God was angry with this.

With one man sinned, it had a consequence to the entire Israelites.

God withheld his blessing over the subsequent battle of the Israelites and the city of Ai. 

It was because of Achan’s sin, and about thirty and six men died in this battle.  

Joshua 7:4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai.

Joshua 7:5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.

Sin is pervasive, and it affects others.

Joshua then went to God and prayed about this situation.

God told him that there was sin among Israel [Joshua 7:11-13].

Joshua 7:11 Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.

Joshua 7:12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.

Joshua 7:13  Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.

God told Joshua that there were people who took the accursed thing from Jericho.

God told him that it was this reason that the Israelites could not have the victory over their enemies because of the curse. 

God also repeated that Israelites would not have any more victory in the battle until the accursed thing was taken from among them.

Next let us go to [Joshua 7:14-15].

Joshua 7:14  In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man.

Joshua 7:15 And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel.

God instructed Joshua for the investigation of each tribe.

God would then reveal the tribe where the sin was hidden.

The punishment of this sin is severe. 

To be burned with fire.

We will continue with [Joshua 7:17-19].

The investigation continued, and the search stopped at the tribe of Judah.

The man named Achan was spotted in the end.

Joshua asked him to confess what he has done.

Joshua 7:17 And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:

Joshua 7:18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.

Joshua 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.

Achan confessed that he took the Babylonish garment, silver, and gold and hid them at his tent [Joshua 7:20-21].

Joshua 7:20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:

Joshua 7:21  When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

One sin will lead to another sin.

Achan started with the disobedience to God’s instruction by taking the accursed thing from the Jericho. 

Then he coveted the silver and gold which he hid them at his tent.

He stole these from the Lord. 

The instruction was clear that gold and silver were to be kept at the treasury of the Lord.

Now we will read the end of Achan’s life [Joshua 7:24-25].

Joshua 7:24  And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor.

Joshua 7:25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.

Achan and all his family members were brought to the congregation of Israelites to be stoned and burned with fire.

What can we learn from this story?

1. You cannot hide any sins from God. 

2. Sin not only affects us but also those around us.

3. The wages of sin is death.


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