One Affects Many

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by: Pastor Joey Vazquez

09/02/2021

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Joshua 7:20-21 (NLT) Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest.”

After their great victory over Jericho, the Israelites were feeling confident for their next battle and rightly so, for the Lord was with them. They sent only about three thousand troops to take the next small town, Ai, but to their great dismay, they were soundly defeated and had to retreat. Thirty-six men lost their lives in that defeat. Joshua and all the people became alarmed, knowing that if the word got out among the other nations of Canaan that the Israelites had been defeated by such a small, insignificant town, they would all gather to wipe them out. They were also very concerned that God had allowed them to be defeated in this way. So, they wept and prostrated themselves before the Ark of the Lord until the Lord told Joshua to get up. He told him that the reason that they had been defeated was because there was sin in the camp. Someone had taken some of the valuable items that God had told Joshua were not to be taken by anyone but instead were to be dedicated to the Lord. One person thought no one would know and kept some of the items for himself. Finally, the person responsible, Achan, was exposed and confessed, and he and all of his family were stoned to death and their bodies were burned.

So the obvious question is, why did others pay for the sin of one man? Why not just punish the person who did it? It's because Achan was a part of a nation that was in a covenant relationship with God. Because of that, any member of that community that did something wrong affected and defiled the entire community. Another example of this would be Adam and Eve who because of their sin, infected all of humanity until the present day. The lesson for us is that we are not an island unto ourselves. What we do, right or wrong, affects others as well. If I were to live my life in secret sin, it would affect my wife, my children, and the church. That is why the way we live before our God is so seriously important. Some people have secret sins that they think only involve their own body and person, but the reality is that it affects many others that are around them as well because of their relational connection with others. I have counseled many people and warned them about sinful things that I learned that they were involved in, warning them that it could devastate their family and friends. The ones who didn't listen found out the hard way that it is not only themselves that suffer the consequences of their sin.

We need to keep in mind that as members of the Body of Christ, our lives affect other lives as well. The Bible likens the people of God to a physical body. Just as the body parts are connected to each other, so the members of the Body of Christ (us) are connected to each other (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-26). As an example, if my feet, which are a part of my body, take me (which includes the rest of my body) into a dangerous place, then my entire body is at risk of harm. With this in mind, let's be mindful about what we do and what we involve ourselves in because the stakes are high, and we can very well affect in a very negative way people that we love and care about. Let's ask the Lord to empower us to live upright lives so that instead of bringing harm to those around us, they will be showered with the blessings that come to us from living a holy life before our God.

Pastor Joey Vazquez

Joshua 7:20-21 (NLT) Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest.”

After their great victory over Jericho, the Israelites were feeling confident for their next battle and rightly so, for the Lord was with them. They sent only about three thousand troops to take the next small town, Ai, but to their great dismay, they were soundly defeated and had to retreat. Thirty-six men lost their lives in that defeat. Joshua and all the people became alarmed, knowing that if the word got out among the other nations of Canaan that the Israelites had been defeated by such a small, insignificant town, they would all gather to wipe them out. They were also very concerned that God had allowed them to be defeated in this way. So, they wept and prostrated themselves before the Ark of the Lord until the Lord told Joshua to get up. He told him that the reason that they had been defeated was because there was sin in the camp. Someone had taken some of the valuable items that God had told Joshua were not to be taken by anyone but instead were to be dedicated to the Lord. One person thought no one would know and kept some of the items for himself. Finally, the person responsible, Achan, was exposed and confessed, and he and all of his family were stoned to death and their bodies were burned.

So the obvious question is, why did others pay for the sin of one man? Why not just punish the person who did it? It's because Achan was a part of a nation that was in a covenant relationship with God. Because of that, any member of that community that did something wrong affected and defiled the entire community. Another example of this would be Adam and Eve who because of their sin, infected all of humanity until the present day. The lesson for us is that we are not an island unto ourselves. What we do, right or wrong, affects others as well. If I were to live my life in secret sin, it would affect my wife, my children, and the church. That is why the way we live before our God is so seriously important. Some people have secret sins that they think only involve their own body and person, but the reality is that it affects many others that are around them as well because of their relational connection with others. I have counseled many people and warned them about sinful things that I learned that they were involved in, warning them that it could devastate their family and friends. The ones who didn't listen found out the hard way that it is not only themselves that suffer the consequences of their sin.

We need to keep in mind that as members of the Body of Christ, our lives affect other lives as well. The Bible likens the people of God to a physical body. Just as the body parts are connected to each other, so the members of the Body of Christ (us) are connected to each other (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-26). As an example, if my feet, which are a part of my body, take me (which includes the rest of my body) into a dangerous place, then my entire body is at risk of harm. With this in mind, let's be mindful about what we do and what we involve ourselves in because the stakes are high, and we can very well affect in a very negative way people that we love and care about. Let's ask the Lord to empower us to live upright lives so that instead of bringing harm to those around us, they will be showered with the blessings that come to us from living a holy life before our God.

Pastor Joey Vazquez

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1 Comments on this post:

johanne

merci pour cette leçon spirituelle dans Josué. Le péché affecte les relations. "Sonde mon coeur et connaît mes pensées, regarde si je suis sur une mauvaise voit et conduis-moi dans le sentier de l'éternité" (Psaumes 139.23)