You will … Joshua says. You. Will.

Ecclesiastes 9:18 says, Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” One sinner, Solomon (we believe) wrote. One.

Achan

Within the next few paragraphs of Joshua’s book, we read of Achan’s sin. What was it? He took those things that should be devoted to God for himself. The interesting thing about his sin is this: Joshua 7:1 says, “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, 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.”

In the battle against Ai, thirty-six men lost their lives.

Though this was the act of one man, the entire nation of Israel was held accountable. In the end, Achan and his family, along with his cattle, donkeys, and sheep and those things he should not have taken were killed and/or burned.

Perhaps in your way of thinking the punishment was pretty severe. But this is a lesson in one unchangeable truth about our God: He is serious about His children following His law and commandments. He is serious about our setting ourselves apart from anything which would hinder us from everything He has in store for us, most especially His love for us and His desire that we should intimately know Him.

The Choice is Ours

Rahab made a choice and saved not only herself but her whole family. She is counted among the Hall of Faith in Hebrew 11. She is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. James wrote in his epistle that she was considered righteous.

But Achan’s choice cost him his life and the lives of his family, his livestock, and thirty-six soldiers.

And you? When you hear God’s voice—whether through prayer, by the reading of His Word, or from the wisdom of those God has sent to minister to you—do you listen and make the wise choices of God or do you touch and take those things forbidden you? Those things that, in the end, will be rendered useless except to separate you from God?

Just how powerful is “one?” Just how much can “one” do, in the life of himself or in the lives of others? I’d say, “Pretty powerful!” The choice is all up to… you.

Eva Marie Everson is the coauthor of Reflections of God’s Holy Land: A Personal Journey Through Israel (Thomas Nelson/Nelson Bibles). She is an award-winning author and speaker. To book Eva Marie for your next speaking event, contact The Nashville Speakers Bureau.