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“Stealing the Sacred”

“Achan replied, ‘It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel…

I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold…

I wanted them so much that I took them.’”

Joshua 7:20-21

When the Israelites conquered Jericho, God said everything was to be destroyed except items that were sacred to the Lord. If anyone took those sacred items for themselves, they would be completely destroyed and bring trouble on the camp of Israel. (6:18)

One man violated God’s instructions, and the whole camp suffered. Israel was soundly defeated by the enemy and all of Achan’s family lost their lives.

According to Achan’s own confession, the focus of his decision was self…I saw the silver and gold, I wanted them so much that I took them. He was not thinking of his fellow soldiers, the Person to whom the items belonged, or the consequences of his actions.

I focus makes it easy to take what is sacred to another person and not even consider their loss, their pain, or its far-reaching devastation. We understand that human life is sacred. But do we realize that to every human being, health, reputation, and personal property are also sacred? Stealing someone’s health because I wanna feel good, smearing their good name to make me look better, or destroying their property…all selfishly steal that person’s sacred items. As Achan learned, THAT is dangerous.

Don’t let “I” steal what is sacred and bring trouble on yourself…and your whole community!


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