The mighty army of Israel was set to go battle the small army of Ai. Joshua figured it was going to be a “whip ’em and come home” so he sent a smaller than usual army to go out and fight the men of Ai”. What happened next was totally unexpected – Ai “put the whoop on them” and the men of Israel lost some in the battle and headed home with their “tail tucked between their legs”. Their arrogance and pride in thinking that THEY were powerful enough to complete the task proved futile. It seems one of their own men had gone against God’s instructions when they took the city of Jericho and took some of the spoils of battle and hid it under his bedroll in his tent. Because of DISOBEDIENCE the power of the army was gone. According to verse 11 God declares: ” They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.”
God instructs Joshua to consecrate the people and call on them to consecrate themselves. He declared they Israel would have no power against their enemies until the stolen thing was recovered and removed. There was also strict punishment for the one who stole it and lied about it — DEATH.
ACHAN – stepped forward and admitted his sin. (v. 20) He admitted lusting coveting the items, stealing them and digging a hole in his tent and burying the treasure in it. Joshua sent his men to the tent and sure enough there was the stolen items buried there.
NOTICE what Joshua then says to Achan: (v. 25) “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”.
Did you see that one man’s sin affected other people’s lives? Did you notice that sin which is done in secret can have horrible effects on the lives of those around them? Joshua then turned it around and said, “TODAY THE LORD IS GOING TO BRING TROUBLE TO YOU.” You can run, you can hide it – but be sure the Lord knows what you are doing. It’s not important that the pastor, preacher, teacher, father, mother, spouse, child or friend knows what you are doing — GOD KNOWS and you can’t get by!!
Why not do some soul searching and find out if there is a reason that things are not going so good with you and your life or your family. Could it be that there is a “hidden” something that you refuse to give up and give to God? Could it be that you are being selfish and in the end it’s hurting those around you? Remember: You can’t hide from God!!