Joshua 7:1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the sons of Israel.
The above verse occurs right after the fall of Jericho and before the devastating defeat of Israel at Ai (vss 2-5).
Then Joshua falls on his face in prayer over their defeat and loss of life (vss 6-9).
But God answers in vss 10-15. Note verse 11 and 12.
Joshua 7:11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things.
Vs 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you any more unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst.
The rest of the story is the process of removing sin from the camp and the resulting victory over Ai after that.
The thing to note is that only one man sinned and stole from God. Only one. But God calls the entire nation into account for it. And if you read the story, Achan was put to death. Not just him, but his entire family. Not only did Achan suffer from the result of his own sin, but the entire nation of Israel. And Israel could not go on to any more victories until the sin among them was dealt with. On a side note, Achan's family paid for his sin with their lives, right along with him.
I've been on a blog where I have pointed out the sins of the church. The host and many of the men there have seen it as a personal attack on them and look upon me as someone who just wants to beat up Christians and the church. They have misunderstood my desire to bring Christians out of denial concerning sin in the camp as an attack on that camp. Because I strongly feel that it is the sins of Christians and the apathy of others concerning such sin that is robbing us of our victory.
The men at the other blog have looked upon the stories and issues that I bring up and said, in effect, "Yeah, it's bad. Stuff like that happens. So what? What's your point? You hate God, the Bible, and the Church now because of a few bad eggs?"
They completely miss the principle I bring up here concerning sin in the camp and "Judgement begins with the house of the LORD" (1 Pet 4:17).
But what these men don't realize is that when sin is overlooked, not taken seriously, and not dealt with, the church will not see victory. It is not the enemies outside the camp that have the power to stop the church and her move forward. It's the sin within the camp, and that alone, robs us of our victory.
Also know that I understand that the times and situations are different. Joshua put to death Achan. But we have different methods, as outlined by the New Testament, to deal with those who sin against God. Yet we are not applying them, therefore we will continue to stumble about in defeat as we point the finger of accusation everywhere but where it belongs.
It is not the third wave feminist, the militant homosexual, or even the sick minded, child pornographer (the one I despise the most) that stops the church from victory. It's the sin within the church herself that will destroy us and render us an impotent has-been within our nation.
Next post is on the 'redefining of sin' that occurs within the church.