I am doing a series of posts about Achan in Joshua 7 and how his sin, though secret, was exposed and had serious consequences. I hope this series of lessons on “Secret Sin” will challenge us examine our hearts for secret sins and confess them to God. Yesterday, we looked a the lure of secret sins. Today we are looking at the consequences of secret sin.
The Consequences of Secret Sin (or any sin)
First, sin angers God (7:1). David said in Psalm 51:4, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight…” He recognised that sin is ultimately disobedience to God. Joseph said in Genesis 39:9 to a woman who was trying to get him to commit adultery, “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” In Joshua 7:8-9, we see that sin damages the reputation of God.”
Second, sin affects the nation (7:1). Even though Achan was the guilty one, the Bible says, “But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing…” Our sin never happens in a vaccum; it always affects other people. The reason our nation and city is such a terrible condition is because Christians are in such a terrible condition.
Third, sin renders us ineffective in life’s battles (7:3-5). The Israelites who were victorious over mighty Jericho fled before a few men of Ai all because of sin. They would never be able to stand before their enemies again unless they dealt with the sin (7:12-13). Having sin in your life and trying to fight life’s battles is basically like going into battle defenseless. Sin removes our breastplate of righteousness, cuts off our communication with our headquarters, and leaves us stranded with no armour.
Fourth, sin hurts others. Achan’s sin cost the lives of 36 other men (7.5). His sin also discouraged the other people (7:5), and our sin will discourage other believers. We can even sense the discouragement in Joshua’s prayer in verses 6-7.
Fifth, sin brings the judgment of God (7:15, 25). God judged Achan for his sin. He was stoned and then burt with fire. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” We should not deceived ourselves into thinking that God will not judge us. We may get away with sin for a little while, but if we do not deal with it properly, He will judge us.
Sixth, sin destroys those closest to us (7:24-26). As a result of Achan’s sin, his family was stoned and burned with him. The Bible says, “all that he had” in Joshua 7:24. God’s Word asks the retorical question in Proverbs 6:27, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” Many homes and families have been destroyed by some secret sin that started out as just a covetous look.
Conclusion: If you dabble with secret sin, you will pay a price. Read Proverbs 5:3-13.
Stay tuned for parts 3 & 4 of this series.