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The Seriousness of Sin


Joshua 7:12-13 NASB

12Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. 13Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the Lord, the God of Israel, has said, “There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst.”

What we see here is the devastation of sin. It not only had fatal effects on Achan but his family and even the nation. Through the sin of one man, Israel suffered, and lives were lost. God also directed Joshua on how to get rid of the sin.
1) He needed to “Rise up!” Although it was not his own sin, Joshua needed to get up and take action to deal with the sin. God did not want Joshua to mourn and remain on his face but to go and do something about it.
2) He needed to get to it early. Joshua did not delay in getting to the root of the sin. He started in the morning to consecrated the people.
3) Understand the weight of sin. The penalty of sin is death. Although Achan thought that something small, like the small pocket of plunder he took, would not have serious consequences, he and his family ended up being killed for it.
God is clear about sin and how it separates Him from us when we sin. Again this goes back to how God walks among the camp and that it must be kept holy (Deu. 23:14). When a soldier has a guilty conscious, they become ineffective. That is also related to 1 Corinthians 5:6 “…Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? ” Sin will work its way through our relationships and life. It will slowly begin to kill off parts of our lives and end up destroying us, our relationships, work, and ministry, etc. if we do not do something about it.

This is tough reading for me this morning because it presents a threatening reality of sin. Although we are Christians, we tend to put a sugar coating over sin and say it doesn’t matter if we sin, because we are covered by grace. It is true that we are covered by grace and we are saved by the blood of Christ, but it is not an excuse for continuing to sin. We need to take note of the examples that God has placed before us about the consequences of sin. He loves us so much that He gave up His Son for us to be back in a relationship with Him. As a father, I love my children so much that I need to discipline them when it is necessary, for I do not want them to suffer, such is God to us.

The application that I/we can take from Joshua is:
1) Confess our sins. God can deal with sin if it is brought into the light. So we need to confess before Him and others. (1John 1:9, James 5:16)
2) Rise up! Repenting and mourning as a way to humble ourselves before God is good and God also wants us to take action to deal with sin.
3) Deal with it early on. The longer we wait, the harder it becomes to deal with it.

Jesus, I humbly come before you know ing that I am a sinner that has been saved by your sacrifice upon the cross. I want to ask for your forgiveness today for also allowing myself to be fooled into thinking the consequences of sin are not deadly. I pray that you search my heart and mind for sins that I may confess them before you. I thank you so much for loving me that you would be willing to sacrifice yourself. I also ask that you cleanse me and wash me that I may have a clear conscious and be able to serve you and others freely. I love you and thank you, Jesus! Amen.

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