Joshua 7* The Israelites smitten at Ai. (1-5) Joshua's humiliation andprayer. (6-9) God instructs Joshua what to do. (10-5) Achan isdetected, He is destroyed. (16-26)1-5 Achan took some of the spoil of Jericho. The love of theworld is that root of bitterness, which of all others is mosthardly rooted up. We should take heed of sin ourselves, lest byit many be defiled or disquieted, #Heb 12:15|; and take heed ofhaving fellowship with sinners, lest we share their guilt. Itconcerns us to watch over one another to prevent sin, becauseothers' sins may be to our damage. The easy conquest of Jerichoexcited contempt of the enemy, and a disposition to expect theLord to do all for them without their using proper means. Thusmen abuse the doctrines of Divine grace, and the promises ofGod, into excuses for their own sloth and self-indulgence. Weare to work out our own salvation, though it is God that worksin us. It was a dear victory to the Canaanites, whereby Israelwas awakened and reformed, and reconciled to their God, and thepeople of Canaan hardened to their own ruin. 6-9 Joshua's concern for the honour of God, more than even forthe fate of Israel, was the language of the Spirit of adoption.He pleaded with God. He laments their defeat, as he feared itwould reflect on God's wisdom and power, his goodness andfaithfulness. We cannot at any time urge a better plea thanthis, Lord, what wilt thou do for thy great name? Let God beglorified in all, and then welcome his whole will. 10-15 God awakens Joshua to inquiry, by telling him that whenthis accursed thing was put away, all would be well. Times ofdanger and trouble should be times of reformation. We shouldlook at home, into our own hearts, into our own houses, and makediligent search to find out if there be not some accursed thingthere, which God sees and abhors; some secret lust, someunlawful gain, some undue withholding from God or from others.We cannot prosper, until the accursed thing be destroyed out ofour hearts, and put out of our habitations and our families, andforsaken in our lives. When the sin of sinners finds them out,God is to be acknowledged. With a certain and unerring judgment,the righteous God does and will distinguish between the innocentand the guilty; so that though the righteous are of the sametribe, and family, and household with the wicked, yet they nevershall be treated as the wicked. 16-26 See the folly of those that promise themselves secrecy insin. The righteous God has many ways of bringing to light thehidden works of darkness. See also, how much it is our concern,when God is contending with us, to find out the cause thattroubles us. We must pray with holy Job, Lord, show me whereforethou contendest with me. Achan's sin began in the eye. He sawthese fine things, as Eve saw the forbidden fruit. See whatcomes of suffering the heart to walk after the eyes, and whatneed we have to make this covenant with our eyes, that if theywander they shall be sure to weep for it. It proceeded out ofthe heart. They that would be kept from sinful actions, mustmortify and check in themselves sinful desires, particularly thedesire of worldly wealth. Had Achan looked upon these thingswith an eye of faith, he would have seen they were accursedthings, and would have dreaded them; but looking on them with aneye of sense only, he saw them as goodly things, and covetedthem. When he had committed the sin, he tried to hide it. Assoon as he had got this plunder, it became his burden, and hedared not to use his ill-gotten treasure. So differently doobjects of temptation appear at a distance, to what they do whenthey have been gotten. See the deceitfulness of sin; that whichis pleasing in the commission, is bitter in the reflection. Seehow they will be deceived that rob God. Sin is a verytroublesome thing, not only to a sinner himself, but to allabout him. The righteous God will certainly recompensetribulation to them that trouble his people. Achan perished notalone in his sin. They lose their own, who grasp at more thantheir own. His sons and daughters were put to death with him. Itis probable that they helped to hide the things; they must haveknown of them. What fatal consequences follow, even in thisworld, to the sinner himself, and to all belonging him! Onesinner destroys much good. What, then, will be the wrath tocome? Let us flee from it to Christ Jesus as the sinner'sFriend. There are circumstances in the confession of Achan,marking the progress of sin, from its first entrance into theheart to its being done, which may serve as the history ofalmost every offence against the law of God, and the sacrificeof Jesus Christ.
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