READ: Joshua 7:1-8:35 (esp., v10-26)
- In a rare, if not unique, turn of events, God told Joshua to get up and stop praying. The brief explanation, v1: “you broke faith.” The longer explanation, someone took some of the items devoted to me and took them for themselves. They stole from God and that means the trust was broken. God prevented victory because obedience was expected from Israel. It was only one man involved, but it impacted the entire nation.
- Sin is like that. We’re enticed into believing that our actions (attitudes, values) are private and no one else’s concern. But it isn’t so in the community setting. One soldier’s dereliction of duty impacts the entire squad. One players infraction calls back a touchdown. One family member’s affair changes everyone’s life for generations. In the church, it’s the same way. One person’s sin, no matter how private, ends up impacting an entire congregation.
- Achan’s sin led to Israel’s defeat. And that not only ended Israel’s victory streak at one, it put God’s name into question. We would all do well to look around us and see how many people our “breaking faith” puts in jeopardy. And, how badly it makes God look in the eyes of the world. God’s reputation and a community of faith’s effectiveness are a great price to pay for a personal indiscretion. No wonder they named the place Achor—city of trouble.
- When have you seen a private sin become a community (family) concern?
- How do we cultivate a sense of community responsibility?
- Why do you suppose God created His church with that “liability”?
Confess any known sins and seek forgiveness. Pray your sin does no harm to the body of Christ. Pray that we are all cognizant of the power of our influence.