What did God command Joshua to do for success and victory? The terms and conditions are recorded in Joshua chapter one:
__5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you… 6 Be strong and of good courage, .. that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. _______________________
In Joshua 7:12-13, God explained why Joshua’s mighty army was defeated by a tiny enemy, “You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.”
Often Christian churches think that this warning from the Lord does not apply to us as we do not worship idols like the pagans do. However, this statement was issued to the Israelites and not to the Canaanites during Joshua’s times. Similarly, this warning and explanation of defeat is spoken today to Christian believers and not unbelievers.
What did Achan do? He did not worship the pagan god either. He merely took (coveted) some valuables (gold and silver) and something he liked (a beautiful coat). Here is what he confessed in Joshua 7. God said not to take any of them. But Achan said “It’s ok to take and hide them as no one will know anyway. Maybe others take too.” But God sees and knows.
He compromised a bit and twisted the words of God a bit and thought it was just a very small matter. The pagans always took spoils. The whole world was doing it as a matter of routine. What’s wrong with following the worldly way of life? They lived quite comfortably and there seemed nothing wrong. Yet, Achan’s sin was he did not know and fear the holy Almighty God.
20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
Just as Joshua 7 addresses the Israelites whom God has saved and delivered and even granted the victory of crossing the Jordan into the promised land, Hebrews 10 addresses church (consisting of Christians who do not know and reverently fear the holy and awesome God, but behave and think like Achan today) in this manner:
Hold Fast Your Confession
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh… Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
But some may say, where are the abominations? We do not have abominations in our church. This question is easily answered. Just look into the hidden things in the midst of your own dwelling and in the church. The detection method is clearly stated in 1 John 2 as quoted below. Any church (Christians) which has strayed away from the teachings of the early church Apostles comes under this warning.
1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin…
The Test of Knowing Him
3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked…
Do Not Love the World
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
Deceptions of the Last Hour
18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Let Truth Abide in You
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.