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CHAPTER 7 May 21 
The Sin of Achan
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the devoted things; for Achan, the son of Carmi the son of Zabdi the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. Therefore Yahweh’s anger burned against the children of Israel. 2Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Beth Aven on the east side of Bethel, and spoke to them saying, Go up and spy out the land. The men went up and spied out Ai. 3They returned to Joshua and said to him, Don’t let all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and strike Ai. Don’t make all the people to toil there, for there are only a few of them. 4So about three thousand men of the people went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai. 5The men of Ai struck about thirty-six of them, and they chased them from before the gate even to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The hearts of the people melted and became like water. 6Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of Yahweh until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7Joshua said, Alas, Lord Yahweh, why have You brought this people over the Jordan at all, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to cause us to perish? I wish that we had been content and lived beyond the Jordan! 8Oh Lord, what shall I say, after that Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it and will surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. What will You do for Your great name? 10Yahweh said to Joshua, Get up! Why are you fallen on your face like that? 11Israel has sinned. Yes, they have even transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. Yes, they have even taken of the devoted things, and have also stolen and also deceived. They have even put it among their own stuff. 12Therefore the children of Israel can’t stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become devoted for destruction. I will not be with you any more, unless you destroy the devoted things from among you. 13Get up! Sanctify the people and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because Yahweh the God of Israel says, There is a devoted thing in the midst of you, Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the devoted thing from among you. 14‘In the morning therefore you shall be brought near by your tribes. It shall be that the tribe which Yahweh selects shall come near by families. The family which Yahweh selects shall come near by households. The household which Yahweh selects shall come near man by man. 15It shall be, that he who is taken with the devoted thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of Yahweh, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel’. 16So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes. The tribe of Judah was selected. 17He brought near the family of Judah; and he selected the family of the Zerahites. He brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was selected. 18He brought near his household man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected. 19Joshua said to Achan, My son, please give glory to Yahweh the God of Israel, and make confession to Him. Tell me now what you have done! Don’t hide it from me! 20Achan answered Joshua and said, I have truly sinned against Yahweh the God of Israel, and this is what I have done. 21When I saw among the spoil a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it. 22So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent. Behold, it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23They took them from the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel. They laid them down before Yahweh. 24Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. 25Joshua said, Why have you troubled us? Yahweh will trouble you this day. All Israel stoned him with stones, and they burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26They raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Yahweh turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Achor to this day.


7:3-5 Shouldn’t Joshua have led them into battle in person (1:5)? He did the second time they attacked Ai (8:15). 
7:7,8 Joshua here lost faith in the promise of 1:5-7,9.
7:10,11,13 Joshua is being reminded not to just see himself as part of a community, but to remember his personal relationship with God, and not to have such a low self image.
7:11 All we have, are, were, shall ever be, is purely His gift. Therefore to take for ourselves what is God’s is to play God. Materialism and selfishness are in this sense playing God. This was Achan’s sin- to take what was devoted to God for himself. And this was why he is described as having ‘stolen’. But from whom? From God (cp. 6:18). The fact God owns everything means that there can be no distinction between what is ours and what is God’s. To think like that is to steal from Him. And hence the power and force of Mal. 3:8: “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me”. Have we robbed God in this way, especially in our attitudes and perceptions?
7:13 “Get up!” is repeated twice (:10), as if Joshua was so easily discouraged that he was still lying on the ground, disobedient to God’s encouragement. 
7:19 Joshua correctly perceived that repentance is a giving of glory to God’s Name.
7:21 A condemned man having hidden God’s money in the ground is clearly the basis of Christ’s parable about the man who was given one talent, who hid it in the ground and did nothing with it (Mt. 25:25). But in the parable, the man didn’t steal it; he was given it by Jesus, but didn’t do anything with it. The connection is to perhaps teach us that passively doing nothing with God’s wealth is the same as actively stealing it from Him; the sin of omission is just as bad as that of commission.