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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“And Achan answered Joshua and said, ‘Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it . . .’”—Joshua 7:20–21 (NKJV)
Every day, every minute, temptation is waiting for you, looking to trap you. There is no way around that. In Genesis 4:7 (NIV), the Lord says, “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” Here’s the thing to remember, though: Being tempted is not a sin unless you give in to its seductive power.
In Joshua 7, we see that Israel was forbidden by the Lord to take any of the goods from Jericho. Achan, a member of the tribe of Judah, knew the command; yet, the temptation of greed became more important to him than obedience to God. So, he gave in.
Years ago, I purchased a car. The financial manager forgot to ask for the deposit. Driving off in my new ride, I thought “I’m $1,000 richer,” but I was dead wrong. Sadly, I ignored the conviction of the Holy Spirit within my heart. A week passed and a call came from the salesman. I told him I would send the deposit, but I didn’t. Again, he called a few days later and I still didn’t send it.
Shortly thereafter, the owner of the dealership called and immediately I felt the heavy hand of the Lord literally push me to the floor and say, “You take care of that immediately!” I could not get up fast enough to write the check and place it in the mail. I had grieved the Lord and confessed quickly. Afterword, I felt a sense of relief and freedom. Thankfully the Lord had the final say.
Achan is like us. He surely had various excuses to justify his motives . . .
No one will know . . .
It’s not hurting anyone . . .
I deserve this . . .
The Lord revealed to Joshua that Achan was guilty, so Joshua said, “I beg you, give glory to God” How? By agreeing you sinned and confessing. Achan confessed, basically saying, I saw . . . I coveted . . . I took . . . I hid (paraphrase of Joshua 7:21).
So, what do you do to ward off sin’s temptation? Pray often, “Dear Lord, help me to feel terrible about sin and hate it before I think of committing it.” Be assured the Lord is faithful to help and deliver you in those moments to walk away from any form of temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
DIG: Take a look at these verses that speak of God seeing all things: Psalm 10:6,11,13, Ecclesiastes 12:14, and Jeremiah 16:17.
DISCOVER: Don’t be deceived like Achan. Jesus was tempted in every way like you, yet He did not sin. Is there a sin you need to confess to the Lord?
DO: Do you long to be like Joseph (Genesis 39:9) and Daniel (Daniel 1:8) by running from temptation? Be careful with your phone and computer, be intentional about what you watch, beware of any potentially unhealthy relationships.