Joshua 7: We Don’t Sin in a Bubble
Joshua was confused in the seventh chapter of the book named for him. After all, God had guaranteed him military success, and the children of Israel were thoroughly beaten by the people of Ai.
Understandably, Joshua was upset and asked God what went wrong.
Jos 7:10 And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?
Jos 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.
Jos 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.
As it turned out, a man named Achan had taken some possessions from Jericho which was clearly against the command of God.
Just like Achan, I think that we sometimes do not realize the collateral damage that we can, and often do, cause. Because of his action, many people needlessly died. If he would have known that that would happen, I am sure that he would have forgotten about the silver and gold.
There are other examples of people who didn’t really realize what they were doing and how much pain they had caused. Saul (Paul) was a perfect example. Until he was converted on the road to Damascus, he had no idea the implications of his Christian massacre.
Act 9:4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
Act 9:5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
Saul thought that he was doing the will of God and that killing these people would not really have implications. Obviously, God told him differently.
I hope that we all can remember how our sins don’t just happen in a bubble. We have the potential to harm others, but the more positive side of that argument is that we also have the opportunity to show the love of God to people and make a positive difference in their lives.