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Stubbornness – Pull Up A Chair

~Joshua 7:20-21 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.

Coveting – the root of many a sin in man’s life. We desire to have something that we don’t currently have. In today’s text we find that Achan coveted some of the spoils from Jericho, he took them and hid them. God had told Joshua not to kill everyone and every thing in Jericho. God commanded that all gold, silver, vessels of brass and iron were to placed in the treasury. However, Achan kept back a “goodly” article of clothing, silver and gold. One man disobeyed God’s command and the results were catastrophic. Israel lost the battle at Ai because of Achan’s disobedience! Later, this disobedience cost him his life and the lives of his entire family!

We never sin alone. You may think that what you did in secret, like Achan, won’t affect anybody but yourself, you’re sincerely wrong!

Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity. Joshua 22:20

Not only was Israel affected by his sin, but Achan’s entire family was affected. God does not look kindly on disobedience. It is a serious matter that is not taken seriously enough today.

And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. Joshua 7:25

I’ve had Christians tell me that we do not live under the “rules” of the Old Testament. This does not negate the fact that God hates disobedience. The Old Testament and the Law are our schoolmaster. They point us to our wicked sin and show us that we are in need of a Saviour! I Samuel 15:23 tells us exactly what God thinks:

For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king. I Samuel 15:23

This verse points us to three things: rebellion, stubbornness, and rejection of God’s word. All three have consequences: (a) rebellion equalled the sin of witchcraft in severity; (b) stubbornness equalled the sin of idolatry; and (c) rejection of God’s word had a cost. Witches were put to death in those days (Exodus 22:8). I’d say that rebellion was pretty serious if it ended in death! (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) Stubbornness is also serious because it is compared to worshipping other gods – idolatry! And look what happened to King Saul! His rejection of God’s word cost him the throne!

We never sin alone! Just as Achan’s entire family was put to death because of his sin! You may not think this applies for today – and maybe the actual act of stoning doesn’t apply. But again, (Hebrews 13:8) God never changes. What He hated back in the Old Testament days, He hates today. Rebellion, stubbornness and the rejection of God’s word are still a serious matter to God. All three depict the hardened heart that rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In fact, even we Christians rebel on a daily basis by sinning against God. We reject His word by sinning; His word says that He provides us with a way out of each and every sin. (I Corinthians 10:13) Too many Christians make light of their sin by saying, “The devil made me do it!” The devil may put the temptation in your path, but you are the one that succumbs to that temptation – and you don’t need to. You have the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and you can say no! Each time we sin, we are no better than Saul who rejected God’s word. We actually tell God by our actions that we refuse to believe I Corinthians 10:13 and we would rather commit the sin than to fight it. Whew! 🙁

We are not powerless! We are able to say no! I once heard a Pastor preach “Are you the Achan in the camp?” Is your spiritual life powerless? Do you not have that close walk with the Lord that you desire? Maybe you’re the Achan – until you get rid of your “spoils,” you won’t be able to have the walk you desire. Is your church powerless today? Maybe you are the Achan in your church that is keeping the entire church from moving forward? It is good that we do a moral inventory of our life every day. Keeping ourselves pure and clean has benefits that affect all those around us.