After the defeat by Ai, Joshua (like many of us) cried out to God, “Why?” You might be familiar with the story. God told Joshua there was sin in the camp. “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.” As in, right there in the middle of things.
God told Joshua that the next day they would begin searching the camp. First by tribes. Then by families and then by households. Until Achan was found out. After Achan admits to taking the forbidden war spoils, messengers are sent to his tent “and they took them (the spoils) out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua….” It was there. In the middle of the tent.
Throughout this process – or even the day before when sin was announced and before the search began – what was Achan thinking? You have to wonder why he didn’t try to hide the evidence, get rid of it, or try to escape? Better yet, why did he not simply come clean and confess? Oh but sin is so deceitful and our hearts are so easily duped, hardened, and trapped by it. Sin is deceitful and so are our hearts. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” We simply cannot trust our old sinful nature. The old nature that so quickly, easily and craftily can minimize sin. Can make excuses for sin and blurs the truth of sin we deal with every day. It makes us do foolish things. For instance, hiding our sin – right in the middle of the tent. Or piously sitting down right on top of it.
STOP. These are five-minute thoughts for today’s prompt: middle. The verses, and Achan’s story, are from Joshua, chapter seven. Time is up, but I have one final thought.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17
Yes, that sinful nature – the old nature – is deceitful and troublesome, to be sure. But, as Christians, we have a new nature. An ability not only to see through the deceitfulness of sin and of our heart but to live victoriously. Now there is something to meditate upon and rejoice over as we head into this weekend!! Others’ thoughts on this week’s prompt can be found here. Happy Friday, friends!