March 25
Joshua 7:1-7, 20-21

Sin in the camp

The city of Jericho lay in ruins! Joshua had told the people of Israel not to take anything from the city: they were not to keep a single thing for themselves. However, one man disobeyed the Lord’s instruction. He secretly took a beautiful coat, some silver and a bar of gold, and buried them in his tent.

Joshua did not know that Achan had taken the treasures and hidden them. He sent some soldiers to the nearby city of Ai to attack it. Yet even though it was only a small city, the Israelite army was defeated and chased back. The Israelites lost their courage and were afraid.

When Joshua prayed and asked the Lord why He had let them be defeated, God told him that Israel had sinned.

Why were others punished when only one person disobeyed?

Has your whole class ever been punished for making a noise, and you weren’t even talking? It seems so unfair that everyone has to suffer just because one or two break the rules and don’t care about others.

God had given the Israelites a strict order not to take anything from the city. To Achan, it seemed such a waste to leave the gold and silver behind, and besides, if he didn’t take it, someone else was bound to take it. Yet his disobedience cost him his life and the lives of many Israelites who were killed in battle. It is unfair that the innocent suffer because of others; but remember, the devil who encourages disobedience never plays fair.

Because God is absolutely holy, He cannot just overlook sin as though it doesn't matter. He also cannot bless His people in a powerful way when there is unforgiven sin in their lives; and where God’s power cannot work, there is defeat!

Verse for today

Search me, O God, and know my heart... See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24