Poor Achan… his example is weighing heavy on my heart today.
Who is Achan?
I wondered the same thing on Sunday when our guest pastor mentioned him in his sermon. In the Old Testament book of Joshua, we read that Achan was from the tribe of Judah and that he fought under Joshua’s command.
Achan was a distracted and impatient man. He fought for God, but His heart was not devoted to Him. Achan worshipped his spoils instead of his Sustainer:
“But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the LORD’s anger burned against Israel… ”
~Joshua 7:1 NIV
Nothing gets past God. He noticed Achan’s affection for “bling” and became angry. When Israel subsequently fought against the men of Ai, 36 Israelites died. The rest of Achan’s fellow soldiers cowered and ran. God did not give them victory- and all because of Achan.
God proceeded to help Joshua uncover Achan’s sin. After confessing to what he had done, Achan and his family were stoned and burned to death (Joshua 7:10-26). Here is the kicker- look at what God said next to Joshua:
“Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”
~Joshua 8:1 NIV (emphasis mine)
Did you catch the very last part that I italicized? Achan was punished for taking spoils, and now God is telling Joshua to go back, fight the men of Ai again, and take their spoils and livestock?
God had a blessing just around the corner for the Israelites. God had a blessing just around the corner for Achan. But Achan could not wait, so he disobeyed.
If only he had waited.
A One Degree Moment:
I have several “if only I had waited” moments. I can disobey and speed along according to Tracy’s will when I become distracted or impatient.
All that glitters may NOT be gold.
What if I had just waited?
Because of God’s great love and mercy toward us, He has a blessing around the corner for those who obey and love Him. This blessing may look different than what we expected, or it may come as a result of pain or perseverance on our part.
God will bring a blessing when He will bring the blessing.
So I need to wait. I need to trust. I need to grow in my desire for God alone over any blessing that is coming.
Perhaps you need to do the same. Are you acting like Achan? Nothing gets past God. He sees our hearts and the object of our devotion.
May the object of our devotion always be Him… let’s wait.
“Prayer Gifts While You Wait” Giveaway~
Anyone want an early Christmas gift? 🙂 My dear friend, Lee Merrill, just published her first prayer based devotional. Throughout this devotional, Lee shares personal examples and Scripture rich prayers that helped her through her own seasons of waiting on God. If you find yourself waiting and you are not sure what to pray, let this devotional minister to you. (Lee also writes more amazing prayers over at her blog: Prayer Gifts.)
I highly encourage you to pick up a copy of Prayer Gifts While You Wait: Grace for as long as it takes. It encouraged my heart and helped me to think and pray through my current season (more on that tomorrow). You can enter to win a copy by simply leaving a comment below. The winner will be announced tomorrow on the blog. I would love to know:
if you think waiting is a challenge and why
- what has helped you through seasons of waiting
- what is one thing you are currently waiting on