“And Joshua said, Why did you bring trouble on us? The LORD brings trouble on you today. And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.” – Joshua 7:25
Scripture reading: Joshua 7:16-26
When Achan finally confessed what he had done, he and his family were stoned to death and their bodies burned. Achan had identified himself with the city that was under God’s curse and so he suffered a cursed death.
We want to know why his whole family had to die for Achan’s sin. Does that mean that they knew about the gold and silver and the clothes hidden under their tent? Why would God say that they had to die? And where did they go when they died – did they go to heaven?
The Holy Spirit doesn’t really answer our questions. But He lays the story of Rahab and the story of Achan beside each other, and the message of God’s righteousness is clear. Rahab was a pagan, a prostitute, but when she put her faith in Israel’s God, she and her whole family were spared from the judgement that fell on Jericho. They came to share in the inheritance as members of the people of God. Achan and his family were God’s covenant children, heirs of the promise, but when they broke faith with God, they came under the same judgment that Jericho did.
John writes, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (I John 2:15,17).
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see and remember that “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life – is not from the Father, but is from the world”, and to help you to love Him with heart, soul and mind.
Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.