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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

June 19 2024


Wednesday June 19

One Day Too Late

 

Joshua 7:22-26

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it.

23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD.

24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor.

25 And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? The LORD will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.

 

We live in a day and in a culture that appears to think, “Good God, good devil, good everybody”. Everyone is a victim and deserves a pass. There is no accountability or consequences for our selfish and criminal behavior. We have forgotten that God is not only a God of mercy and grace, but that He is also a Holy God of justice and must execute punishment on sin. These last few verses of Joshua 7 are a good reminder that one day it will be too late!

 

Achan had violated God’s instructions concerning all the treasure of Jericho that was to be given to the Lord, and he secretly had taken some for himself. After the humiliating defeat at Ai, where 36 soldiers were killed and God revealed to Joshua that a sin had been committed that needed to be dealt with, Achan had ample time to run to his tent, take the goods and bring them to Joshua and repent and confess his sin. But he didn’t! And when he finally confessed, it was too late. He was one day too late.

 

Joshua 7:22-26 reveals God’s judgment on Achan’s sin. Since a law in Israel prohibited innocent family members from being punished for the sins of their relatives (Deut. 24:16), Achan's family must have been guilty of assisting him in his sin. His household was judged the same way Israel would deal with a Jewish city that had turned to idols (Josh. 13:12-18). Achan and his family had turned from the true and living God and had given their hearts to that which God had said was accursed—silver, gold, and an expensive garment. It wasn't worth it!

 

At the beginning of a new period in Bible history, God sometimes revealed His wrath against sin in some dramatic way. After the tabernacle had been set up, Nadab and Abihu invaded its holy precincts contrary to God's law; and God killed them. This was a warning to the priests not to treat God's sanctuary carelessly (Lev. 10). When David sought to restore the Ark to its place of honor, and Uzzah touched the Ark to steady it, God killed Uzzah (2 Sam. 6:1-11); another warning from God not to treat sacred things carelessly. At the beginning of the Church Age, when Ananias and Sapphira lied to God and God's people, the Lord killed them (Acts 5:1-11).

 

The death of Achan and his family was certainly a dramatic warning to the nation not to take the Word of God lightly. The people and the animals were stoned, and their bodies burned along with all that the family possessed. The troubler of Israel was completely removed from the scene, the people were sanctified, and now God could march with His people and give them victory. The name Achor means "trouble." The Valley of Achor is mentioned in Isaiah 65:10 and Hosea 2:15 as a place where the Jews will one day have a new beginning and no longer be associated with shame and defeat. The Valley of Achor will become for them "a door of hope" when they return to their land and share in the blessings of the messianic kingdom. How wonderful the Lord is to take Achor, a place of sorrow and defeat, and make it into a place of hope and joy.

 

The heap of stones in the valley would be a reminder that God expects His people to obey His Word, and if they don't, He must judge them. The heap of stones at Gilgal (Josh. 4:1-8) reminded them that God keeps His Word and leads His obedient people to the place of blessing. Both memorials are needed in the walk of faith. God is love (1 John 4:8, 16) and longs to bless His people; but God is also light (1 John 1:5) and must judge His people's sins.

 

It had been a trying two days for Joshua and his leaders, but the situation was about to change. God would take charge of the army and lead His people to victory. When you surrender to the Lord, no defeat is permanent, and no mistake is beyond remedy. Even the "Valley of Trouble" can become a "door of hope."

 

Don’t wait till it is too late to repent! One day it will be too late! (Revelation 20:11-15)

 

God bless!

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