People poured out of their tents like grain from an upended sac. I stood at the entrance of my tent holding the flap for my wife to go through first, you might think I did that cos I’m a gentleman, but that’s not entirely true. Let’s just say even after all these years I’m still not tired of ogling at my wife’s backside. Oh well, she’s my wife, I can ogle all I want and even- cut it. I’m digressing.
We assembled at the plains of Jericho, a mammoth crowd of 12 vast tribes. We started filing out ready for the day’s march. We’ve been doing this silly thing for six days. Joshua boomed instructions: we were to match round seven times; at the seventh time we were to shout aloud; everything is to be utterly destroyed, every individual except Rahab, the prostitute and those in her house. The city is under a holy curse, no spoil should be taken from it, everything should be destroyed because they are accursed, but the silver, bronze and iron vessels are sacred and should be kept for the treasury of God’s house.
Hold up. Every Jerichoan property is accursed, but Jerichoan bronze, iron and silver are sacred and should be kept in God’s treasury? Is it just me or is this actually not adding up? What is this Joshua man with his viscose voice and shiny scalp, not telling us? Yes, people said God is with Joshua, I don’t doubt that, there’s proof. Wasn’t it before my very eyes that the great waters of Jordan had been rolled back, giving way for earth as dry as the desert’s for us to tread? But the fact that God was with Joshua or that he spoke to him didn’t mean I would be a fool, I have a functional head for a reason. Joshua must have manufactured that bit of the supposed ‘divine instruction’ he received.
Perhaps he was afraid of men accruing wealth from Jericho that would make their pockets larger than him in their sight, maybe this was about his fear of losing honour. Perhaps he thought if the men took the spoils from the land, they would become less dependent on God and of course him. Why would God say we shouldn’t take as booty the properties of the Jerichoans if he had told our fathers when they were about to set out on their exodus from Egypt, to request goods from the inhabitants? Even if God said the Jerichoan properties were accursed, why didn’t this apply to Jerichoan properties relevant to the Lord’s treasury?
Oh, oh! Can you see what I’m saying? This Joshua man must think because his voice thunders and he has wispy grey beards, he’s the only wise person alive. The whole of Israel might be swayed by his ruse, which honestly is not quite deft, but I, Zerah Achan, am no fool.
Let’s keep up this march, let’s increase our shout, I love what I’m seeing. The walls are trembling. My scream is a mix of gusty shout and bubbling laughter. The mighty fortress, the great wall of Jericho is now like a child with fever. Oh, Yahweh, you are great. Did a brick just tumble? Haha. Like Joshua said, I will go straight ahead of me to destroy the people but I’ve heard so much of the wealth of Jerichoans, of their fine imported garments, robes trimmed with purple, Joshua’s trickery won’t rid me of my opportunity.
“Spare the lives of my wife and children, I pray thee, for they had no hand in my sin. Let the guilt and just recompense of my sin be upon my head” I clutched at the fringe of Joshua’s robe as my family was being dragged before the congregation.
“Your sons, daughters, wife, silver, the wedge of gold and Babylonian garments you took, your donkey, your oxen, your sheep, your tent and indeed all that belongs to you, shall perish with you. You shall all be stoned in the valley and then be burnt, that the reproach of your sin be removed from amongst us, and the anger of the Lord be turned away from us” He said as he kicked out of my grip, sending dust across my face.
The congregation raised an uproar of agreement.
The original account of the Bible story I just adapted can be found in Joshua 6-7. While this story happened under the old covenant and it therefore might not directly apply to new testament believers in some way, take for instance the consequence of Achan’s sin, I believe there’s something to pick from Achan’s story. Something that very much applies to we new testament believers.
2 Corinthians 10: 5 (AMPC):
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
If we are not deliberate about bringing down the strongholds of brilliant arguments, reasonings, theories, philosophies that appeal to our intellect but are at loggerheads with the will and word of God, and bring those thoughts to subjection so that they obey Christ, trust me, we would be losing the battle where it counts most.
Have you ever wondered why most temptations recorded in the Bible, and that we even experience today, come as questions? “Did God really say?…” “Why will God say?…..” “If God said this, then why is that happening?” “Is this God even real?” “Is there even a God?”
My Dad made me understand that when a question is thrown at you, it elicits a response from your intellect and it easily bypasses your spirit. Your intellect is in the flesh and unless you’re deliberate about drawing your answers from the Holy Spirit and the word of God like Jesus did, you will easily begin to see things in the light that old serpent wants you to see things. Ask Eve. One moment Eve was quoting what God said and a period of pondering on the serpent’s question later, she began to see the tree and its fruit as good for food, pleasant to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise.
Don’t let the Devil engage your thoughts.
How you spend your thoughts determines the wealth you have.
When you invest your thoughts in meditation of God’s word, your reap riches in depth, understanding and faith. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by God’s word.
When you invest your thoughts in questions from the Devil you reap doubt, confusion, fall. See how the Bible puts in Galatians 6:7-8;
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”
The word of God should be received by faith, with meekness. The reason why the word of God we hear doesn’t profit us sometimes is because of the posture of our hearts.