The verse is clear, and quite frightening!
“But the children of Israel COMMITTED A TRESPASS in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, TOOK of the accursed thing: and the ANGER of the LORD was KINDLED against the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.” Joshua 7:1
The verb “to commit trespass” is “maal” in Hebrew. It means, essentially, “to act unfaithfully.” And in the verse we’re studying today the root word appears twice (once as a verb then as a noun) in the original Text! The children of Israel “maal” then again “maal” … toward Almighty God! They “sinned” a “sin,” basically.
They stole once … but in God’s Eyes it was an action with on-going consequences! So says the sense of “time” this verb exhibits!
The verb “took” is spelled “laqach” in Hebrew, meaning “to fetch, lay hold of, seize” something! Again, we only have a record of one theft … but the verb is one of “incomplete” action! Continual Discipline from God … until some kind of atonement is made!
Achan stole but once … yet remained a thief the rest of his life!
The City of Jericho and all its contents had been “cursed” of the Lord and “dedicated” to destruction! So the Jews were to maintain a “hands-off” policy toward it all. Take nothing … from that incorrigibly wicked place!
Thus God was “angered” at their light-heartedness, insincerity, rebellion!
The word picture Joshua used here is one of God’s being so mad He breathed hard and turned “red” in the Face … and became fiercely displeased!
The noun “aph” means one’s “nose” literally, but is only translated that way 12 times in our Bible. But (get this) a total of 172 times it is translated “anger!” Yes, the Jews are an emotional people.
Now let’s get the whole idea, if we can.
One man sinned.
Yet God is angry with a whole Nation?
Read the verse again. “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi … took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”
Achan’s sin weakened all Israel!
It actually cost the lives of about 36 innocent men! (The remainder of chapter 7 here in the Book of Joshua explains in more detail.)
And a shameful defeat for the Jewish army!
And God would NOT further bless His people … until they had first dealt with the “sin in the camp!”
Now … based on this principle …
I wonder how 1,500,000 abortions a year (baby murders) in America has curtailed God’s Goodness upon us as a people.
Or our countless sexual sins?
Or ever increasing idolatries?
I do not know the specific answer to this question … but I do know individual sins can diminish a whole Nation’s potential!
Pray for America today.
And for our President.
Remember, God still hates sin.
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Text number: 770-844-7627