It must have been the most miserable night’s sleep. The day before, Joshua, the nation’s leader, announced an alarming investigation. Sadly, the day before thirty-six men had died in battle as Israel fought with an inferior opponent. The nation was heaving with remorse.
Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. (Joshua 7:13)
All evening long, he had an opportunity to come clean and repent. Can you imagine as he wonders if he hid his stolen souvenirs well enough? Can you relate to the sweaty palms as he replays the smuggling effort over in his mind? Who could have seen him? It was a flawless operation, right? Joshua must have been bluffing!
Achan must have never realized when Joshua said three times “which the Lord shall take,” he was clearly indicating the Lord would capture the offender. The word “take” is the same word in Proverbs 5:22, “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, And he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Paul explained it, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:8).
How much serenity can a stash of silver offer? How much comfort can a pillow of gold promise? Yet we allow the sweet “stolen waters” in our lives tranquilize our conscience. Instead of allowing the pleasures of this world to allure us, we should pursue the One whose right-hand offers “pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11).
Take the world, but give me Jesus—
All its joys are but a name;
But His love abideth ever,
Thru eternal years the same.