It’s difficult for us to reconcile the harsh penalty upon Achan and his family with the grace and mercy of God, this chapter informs our understanding of the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Apart from the cross, this is the standard we are held to and the punishment we face because no one is any more righteous than Achan. We all fall short of God’s standard.
Achan’s greed and disobedience led to the deaths of thirty-six soldiers, not to mention his own family. You and I might not experience such severe and immediate consequences for our own disobedience, but it can have just as far-reaching an impact. Our children are learning from our example. Unbelievers are growing closer or rejecting God based on what they see in us. Future generations are dependent on our decisions.
Too often we take sin lightly in our modern society. We presume grace because of Christ’s sacrifice, but fail to consider that, while Christ has saved us and we cannot lose that salvation, our unrepentant hearts can destroy our lives and the lives of people around us. Whether it is coveting others’ possessions and overspending to “keep up with the Joneses” or surfing websites that pervert our relationship with our spouse, even our hidden and socially-acceptable sins lead to destruction, just as they did for Achan.
We must also consider Achan’s penalty and how this chapter speaks to us in light of Hebrews 10:26-27, “26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.”
Father, may your Holy Spirit reign in our hearts, convicting us of sin even as the wayward thought forms, and leading us to true repentance. Help us to have the strength to turn from any motivation or behavior that is offensive to you and to desire your plans above anything else. Make us mindful of the impact of our decisions and the example we set before those you’ve placed in our lives. Amen.