But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. (Joshua 7:1)
I think some of the biggest obstacles to faith are the rules surrounding it. Particularly, I think it’s easy to misunderstand rules and think that they’re not that big of a deal.
Achan was a member of Joshua’s army, and he helped himself to the “devoted things” as he helped to plunder Jericho. God gave very specific instructions to Joshua that they were to take nothing from Jericho and that it was all to be devoted to destruction (hence “devoted things”). Achan’s sin wasn’t merely ignoring God’s commands; it went deeper than that. This sin was a big deal because it was a betrayal of trust between God and His people.
When they entered Canaan, God promised to provide for the Israelites. By helping himself to unauthorized things, Achan was taking the responsibility for his provision into his own hands. The word “unfaithful” is actually the word used in Hebrew to describe an affair within a marriage. The covenant relationship with God and His people was broken through Achan’s sin.
The big deal with any sin is that we are choosing, in that moment, not to trust in God but in ourselves.
He wants us to trust Him in all things. The next time you’re tempted to do what you know is wrong, take a moment to look at what’s really at stake. More than likely the “big deal” is that you’re failing to trust your heavenly Father.
Father, so often I buy into the idea that sin isn’t that big of a deal. “Who cares?” I think. The truth is that every time I sin I choose to trust in myself instead of You. Give me wisdom to see what’s really at stake in those moments, and give me the courage to do what’s right.