First of all, apology for lack of articles. It’s a mix of writer’s block, writer’s drought, and overload of schoolwork. #rightsforstudents.
So a few weeks ago I read Joshua 7; Achan’s sin. It was part of a school thing. What did Achan do? I went through the passage and circled a few verbs:
-First of all, it says that Israel “broke faith.” So Achan, one person, his sin affected all of Israel. When God speaks, he says that Israel has sinned, they have transgressed, they have taken, they have stolen and lied and put [the devoted things] among their own belongings. So Achan’s sin applies to all Israel, interestingly.
–God could abandon them. This is serious. Serious infringement on God’s direct commands, serious consequence. BUT there is still a chance that He won’t; he offers the option of getting rid of sin instead of leaving Him.
-Israel is “disabled.” “They turn their backs before their enemies because they have become devoted for destruction.” Because of Achan’s single sin, the entire nation is unable to defeat their enemies. Immobilized. Useless. Full of fear. They can’t do anything without God, and they are not in His favor anymore.
All because of Achan and his selfishness. What did it all come down to? A cloak, silver, and gold. In turn, Achan’s whole family was killed and everything he owned burned. It was a terrible decision to rebel against God and think you could deceive Him; and not worth it at all. A tragic story for Achan.
But because he died and the sin of his rebellion was punished, Israel was able to conquer Ai—with God on their side. Which is great, right? But there’s something even better.
Later I was reading Isaiah; and I was on Isaiah 65:10.
“Sharon shall become a pasture for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a place for the herds to lie down, for my people who have sought me.”
This is a wonderful message. I’m not sure about you, but there’s definitely times I’ve sinned…just as badly as…Achan. And I deserve the same punishment. But guess what God does?
He takes our horrible sin, our Valley of Achor (trouble) and He makes it into something new, something beautiful.
All our sins He refashions into a place of peace and rest.
One of my teachers said that God brings us back to the same place that we sinned, so we have the chance to not sin, to make the right choice again. Just like the Israelites and Ai.
When are with God, He strengthens us to make the right choice. He brings us back to our mistakes and guides us to make the right decision. He takes our past sins and valleys of trouble and He will transform it into something wonderful.