JOSHUA

Chapter 7

"TRESPASS OF THE ACCURSED THING."
 "The Trespass of Achan. [1 - 26]"
"Consequence, Defeat at Ai. [2 - 9]"
"Achan's Trespass Put Away.[13 - 26]"

 

This Bible Study is is provided by http://www.theseason.org/ and shared with permission from it's author R. Christopherson

Joshua 7:1 "But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the cursed 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."

The word "Achan" means trouble, and when there is a trouble maker in your midst all kinds of this can go wrong. Achan committed the act that God warned of in chapter six, for he took part in the accursed thing. One person within a group can turn God's anger against the entire group. When you disobey God, there is a price to pay. God had just gave them Jericho, and blessed the children of Israel well. Now here something happened that turned God's anger against all the people.

Here God punished the entire nation for the act of one man. However as a believer you can come out of God's wrath against a group any time that you choose. Any time any nation allows the accursed thing to take place in it's camp, God will take away His protection from that nation. Today we are allowing every perversion to take place in our land, and stepping aside as there perverts try to take God from our schools, court houses and homes, and we can see the problems that are coming because of this wickedness. Even though we think we are the super power of super powers, God can bring us down when we turn our backs to Him. Our churches of today are becoming filled with the Achan's of our time.

Joshua 7:2 "And Joshau sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth-aven, on the east side of Beth-el, and spake unto them, saying, "Go up and view the country." And the men went up and viewed Ai."

This little town called Ai, which means heap in the Hebrew would be the next battle that the Israelites would face. Notice that this heap of ruins was right along side of Beth-avan, which means "house of emptiness". It is interesting how the name of these town also have a definite meaning. The word "Beth-el" at the same time means house of God. Do you know the difference between the two houses, the house of nothingness and the house of God? The house of God is where God's Word is taught chapter by chapter, verse by verse with understanding. The Beth-avan or house of emptiness is where all you get is traditions of men, and the fairy-tales that men can dream up. The most you get those houses of emptiness is one verse and a bunch of rambling from the imagination of a man. There are also many good churches today that present God's Word in it's entirety as it ought to be presented.

Joshua sent these spies to view the country and return back to him with a report of the land and the city. Joshua wanted to send only what was required to get the victory over Ai. Remember that God is angry with the children of Israel because someone in the nation violated His strict rule about touching the accursed thing. Yet Joshua does not know of His anger yet. God withdrew from them, and these spies went out on their own.

Joshua 7:3 "And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, "Let not all the People go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the People to labour thither; for they are but a few."

Of course these two spies' minds are still thinking of the battle of Jericho, and the ease that they destroyed that city. With God on their side that is all it would have taken, tow or three thousand men to destroy Ai. They forgot that Jericho was given to them by the Lord, not by their own hand in battle.

Joshua 7:4 "So there went up thither of the People about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai."

When these men saw the men of Ai, they ran like rabbits for their lives. What happened to their scouting report, for something was missing from that report.

Joshua 7:5 "And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the People melted, and became as water."

Just as the men of Jericho melted at the sight of Israel, so these men of Israel melted when they reach the gate of Ai. This pack of three thousand men ran like cowards when the battle started. God had blessed Israel with a victory at Jericho, and these Israelites went down the road rejoicing that everything was well under control. However they overlooked something, they took their eyes off the one that gave them the victory. When you leave God out of your equation, you are in for trouble. Friend, without God on your side, you have no hope, for then you are battling Satan, as well as the enemy, and you will lose. It is essential that we seek God advise and ask for His protection before you start into action. This goes for all parts of your life.

Joshua 7:6 "And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads."

When the army returned with with the report that they had been badly defeated, Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothes and fell to the ground on their faces before the Lord. Something was very wrong in the camp and they had no idea what it was. Joshua and these elders still don't realize what has been done.

Remember back in Jericho, when God gave them the victory? the Lord asked only one thing from them and that was that they did not touch the accursed thing. He ordered that all gold, silver, brass and iron be given over to the house of God. God sanctified that gold and silver and it was to be set aside for duty in His house.

So we learned in verse one that it was Achan that had taken some gold and silver that was intended for the house of God, and buried it in his tent. That was the accursed things, the using something that belongs to God for your own use. Remember from the last chapter, God expects discipline from His people, and when they get away from it and on their own, trouble comes.

Joshua 7:7 "And Joshau said, "Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast Thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan!"

Did you get it, they fell short in following instructions, yet Joshua is blaming God for their own sins. The biggest mistake that we can make in our lives is blaming God for our shortcomings. When you make your own choices, and stray from God's instruction then you caused the hardship to yourself. God never sent out the spies, He never was a part of that battle, and when they went out on their own accord, they got whipped. Joshua had allowed someone in the camp to partake of the accursed things without even knowing it. Joshua knew the order from God, and there was a lack of discipline within their ranks, in the leaders, the priests, and down to the fighting man. We like they, must learn to respect God's Word.

Joshua 7:8 "O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies!"

They did get whipped in the battle.

Joshua 7:9 "For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth." and What wilt Thou do unto Thy great name?"

Joshua is on his face to the ground, crying and blaming everybody and everything for their own mistakes. Now his mind turns to the enemy nations in the land, and he is starting to fear the other nation that are possessing the promise land. Joshua is even passing on his faults to God.

Guilt and self-incrimination will never reform anyone, and bring repentance. This will only cause you to look to someone else to pin the responsibility on. This is especially true when you try to blame God for your shortcomings. God doesn't let trouble come to anyone, but if someone wants to play the role of a fool, He will allow you to do that to yourself. When trouble comes your way, you caused it yourself.

Joshua 7:10 "And the Lord said unto Joshua, "Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?"

God was getting tired of seeing these men rolling in the dust and told them to get up. Friend, God hasn't placed any burdens on anyone, for in our faith and belief in His sets us free from those burdens. When the burdens are weighing you down, you are in tune more to Satan than to God. We see and hear this problem all the time today. Get off of the guilt trips, repent of those sins and shortcomings, and face what you have done wrong and correct it. You do the correcting and God will start the blessings flowing again.

Joshua 7:11 "Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff."

This is the problem! Israel hath sinned and they have also transgressed My covenant. God gave His commands through the mouth of Joshua to not touch the gold, silver, brass and Iron, the accursed thing, but some in the ranks just wasn't listening when Joshua was explaining God's instructions.. God gets upset when He instructs one of His own, and they don't listen to the instruction. Not only did they take the items, but they stole it outright, and are pretending that they haven't taken it, and mixed the stolen goods with their own stuff. When you play games with the Lord, you lose, for He can read the thoughts of your mind. Don't try to blame God for your mistakes. If God is not blessing you, there is a reason, and it is time to find out why from His Word.

Joshua 7:12 "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you."

God is telling Joshua that this is the reason that you lost the war with your enemies at Ai. Your men turned their backs because they were accursed. Now pay attention to the condition that will bring God back on their side. "Except ye destroy the accursed from among you." Get it? Gods not going to clean up your mess, you clean up your own mess, so get rid of that accursed one. There is no middle ground here, you either clean up your act, or God will not be with you. The blessings are over till this accursed things is settled.

Joshua 7:13 "Up, sanctify the People, and say, `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."

Sure, God gave Jericho to Israel, but not little Ai until they get rid of that accursed one. To sanctify yourselves is to separate yourself from this one that brought God's wrath down on you.

Joshua 7:14 "In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come by household; and the household which the Lord shall take shall come man by man."

This is how God's judgment is, for each man in every household shall stand in judgment by himself and answer for his own deeds. There is no lawyer standing by his side, and there is no plea bargaining in God's court room. God knows who took the gold and silver and buried it in his tent. However God is going to set an example for the rest of the nation, and Achan is going to be the one be that example.

Joshua 7:15 "And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel."

Did you get that? the one with the accursed thing, the gold and silver that belongs to God will be put to death by fire, along with his entire family. Achan allowed his own personal greed to wreck not only his live but that of his entire family. Stop and look at the scandals that are rocking our nation today. For the greed of these few men and women that have wrecked their corporations, have brought disgrace not only on their families, but this entire nation.

Joshua 7:16 "So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken:"

It's judgment time, and when the tribe of Judah came forth, each family member came before Joshua, one at a time.

Joshua 7:17 "And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken:"

Old Zabdi was Achan's grandpa, and he was the first of his family to stand before Joshua.

Joshua 7:18 "And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken."

Joshua 7:19 "And Joshua said unto Achan, "My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto Him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me."

Notice that Joshua is not using the word "repent", but "confession" of this act. Remember that this is the day of judgment and there is no room for repentance on this day. Repentance would have come once one understands that they have violated God's law, but Achan still can't see the wrong of his act.

We are living in the dispensation of grace now, spiritually speaking, and this is the time for repentance. Once you have died and left this earth age, there is no more grace offered to you. Then comes the judgment, the confession for the acts that are not repented of, and by faith put under the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those sins are blotted out, but those unrepented sins are still there. At the end of this earth age, when we enter into that Millennium kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is to late for repentance. Grace is a gift that is given to you by Christ, and it requires faith. Faith is your actions, based on your beliefs that have the confidence that God can do what He says He will do. You act sight unseen. When Christ is here on earth in the Millennium age, those things you you believe in are not unseen, for you can see and know exactly that He is alive. Its to late to repent, and only a confession will be asked for.

The day is coming when it will be to late for repentance. In that thousand year millennium age when you will be in your incorruptible body, those not of the Zadok will be saved only by their works, as we read in Revelation 20:11 - 15. Then after the judgment by your works only, tells if your name is written in the Lamb's book of life. You hide nothing from our heavenly Father for it is written in His books. Those things repented of now will be blotted out, but after the seventh trump, it will be to late for repentance.

Joshua 7:20 "And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned agaisnt the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done:"

Sure Achan is confessing some of his sins, but he is leaving out the accursed thing that he has done.

Joshua 7:21 "When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonian garments, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it." 

There was a lot of gold and silver to tempt Achan. Notice the cycle that takes place here; I saw; I coveted; I took; and I hid. Now notice the last part: "And the silver under it." It is important to know what that "it" was. The Babylonians were Baal worshippers, and Ackan had taken those goodly Babylonian garments of these Baal worshippers, and brought it right into the camp of the children of Israel. In the ancient Manuscripts it reads "a mantel of Shinar". Only the high priest of that heathen religion wore a mantel in their worship to Shinar, of that Satanic cult. This is what that "it" was that the silver and gold was hidden underneath.

God hates the accursed thing, and that accursed thing is the items that are used in their religious forms to heathen gods. God hates those things that you pick up from other religious forms, and inject into the holy things that are precious to Him. God told you exactly how we are to worship, what we are to say and do, and when we use some other form that man has made to approach His throne, He is not pleased with it. Our heavenly Father's Son paid an awesome price so that we can approach His throne, and He doesn't like it when His children mess around with Satan's toys. This is how people will be drawn into following the false Christ when he comes at the sixth trump, for people will be taught to receive Satan by their traditions of men that make void the Word of God. If you are looking for a rapture, before the seventh trump, you are looking for a savior that comes before christ, and that person is Satan. Plain and simple, you are messing with the accursed thing, that thing that God hates.

Ezekiel 13:19 "And will ye pollute Me among My People for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to My People that hear your lies?"

This verse is directed to false prophets that teach their false doctrines. god is asking them; are you gong to pollute My word for money [barley] and for taking of vows [bread]? Men and woman go into the ministry for many reasons and the seek security while doing their job. The attach themselves to denominations and ministries that like to create their own forms of salvation, and these false doctrines like the rapture doctrine is one of them. It seems that they set out to trap souls to their cause and try to avoid most of the Scripture dealing with these end times. They have created their safety belt for getting out of the time when Satan will be here on earth deceiving the entire world, and that is their fly away doctrine. It gives peace of mind thinking that you will fly away when the rest of the world will be trapped, but God says it just isn't so.

Ezekiel 13:20 "Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; "Behold I am against your pillows, where with ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly."

God is trying to wake up the people living in these last day through Ezekiel, and He is telling us that He is against your pillows or doctrines, "wherewith ye hunt the souls to make them fly." Do your really think God is pleased with your Satanic doctrines that draw souls to Satan when he arrives here on earth at the sixth trump?

Achan was doing the same thing, he was taking the mantel of this heathen religion and bringing it into the camp of God's people. When Achan would bring that mantel out of the ground later, he would bring all the curses right along with it to all Israel. So what is God's instruction for this act? So what did God say also about the gold and the silver? God said that "its sanctified", it belongs to Me and you took it. God made the gold and the silver holy, its sanctified and Achan was messing around with things that God made holy. You will not rob God and get away with it.

Joshua 7:22 "So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it."

Notice that the mention of the Babylonian mantle was continually called "It"; and it was there just as Achan said it was. To worship falsely and bring heathen religion into God's worship is the greater sin.

Joshua 7:23 "And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord."

This secret thing is not hidden any more and the people now know exactly why they lost the war at Ai. These items had claimed the lives of thirty six of their people and it is time to do something about it.

Joshua 7:24 "And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold,and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor."

All the Israelites brought this entire family and all the wealth that they had, the gold, silver, animals, sons and daughters, the entire family and they put them all to death. So notice that Joshua is not blaming God any more, for now he knows why god had turned His back on their war efforts.

Joshua 7:25 "And Joshua said, "Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day." And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones."

Joshua 7:26 "And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, the valley of Achor, unto this day."

These people of Achan just paid for these thirty six death, for the entire family knew that this sin had been done in their sight. We haven't reached that point yet to where there is only a time for confession. Satan has not arrived here yet, and there is mercy and forgiveness at the cross of Christ. It is time to get into the Word to find out the difference between that which is accursed and those things that please our Lord. So what is the accursed thing? The accursed thing is to bring false beliefs and religions and traditions of men into your life before God. God will not tolerate your placing anything before Him, and if you do, you will have trouble brought your way. God will not bless you when you mess around with His sanctified things and ways. When you cause God's curses to come down on you, they will come down on all that you have, including your family. However by putting aside those accursed things, God will bring blessings down on you and your family, for we are still in that time where repentance is made ready for you under the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is mercy at the cross of Christ, and He is waiting for you to come to Him.

 

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