Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
"All things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of him with whom we have an accounting" (Hebrews 4:13)
Some may feel that if no one sees them do wrong, they will get away with it. (Psalm 19:12) In a sense, there is no such thing as a secret sin. Jehovah is a Judge who examines our deepest motives, and he responds to wrongdoing in a way that reflects perfect justice. In direct violation of God's command, Achan took spoil from the city of Jericho and hid it in his tent, likely with the complicity of his family. When his sin was exposed, Achan showed that he realized the seriousness of what he had done, for he said: "I have sinned against Jehovah." (Joshua 7:20) Like Cain, Achan had developed a bad heart. In Achan's case, greed was a major factor, and it contributed to his becoming deceitful. Since the spoil from Jericho belonged to Jehovah, Achan in effect stole from God, and this cost him and his family dearly.— Joshua 7:25.
(Watchtower issue: 10/15/08, 1:12, 13)
There's something about greed and deceitfulness that always seems to go hand-in-hand. And it's one of the most insidious traits, because it can go undetected for so long, and it can encompass so many areas of life (not just material things). It's like an entire attitude and frame of mind that develops.
That's why this account is so strange,...because prior to this, Achan had been used to living in the desert with almost no material possessions while the Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years. I was trying to figure out how his greedy attitude developed so quickly, since he wasn't surrounded by riches or by a society of people who were materially prosperous. So when you first read this account it almost seems like he acted on "impulse" in a moment of weakness...since this was really the first occasion where he'd ever come in close contact with a "real city" and people who owned many luxurious items that he'd never seen before.
But the fact that Achan was keeping the stolen goods hidden & buried under his tent, (where not even he, or his family could use or enjoy them), shows there was something deeper going on with him,...this wasn't just "a mistake" made in a moment of weakness. -Especially because he didn't come forward himself, even after he saw that the Israelites were losing the battle, and dozens of men had died on account of him. He waited until he was officially caught before he admitted to it.
For a person to behave that way (right from the get-go), when the Israelites had just *barely* entered the Promised Land,...shows a serious flaw in his character and heart condition. He broke one of the very first commands that God had given to the Israelites upon entering their new homeland...so it doesn't take a genius to figure out what would have happened if Jehovah hadn't nipped this situation in the bud.