“I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house…on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built.” – Luke 6:47-48
The Lord teaches us with the parable of the two foundations: one foundation is solid and will withstand the storms of life; the other one is lazily constructed and will not support anything when even the slightest windstorm passes by.
We see an example of this played out in the book of Joshua today. Israel has the commandments of God to help them, for God knows that if they keep his commandments, they will learn to resist temptations in life that will lead to their destruction. In following the commandments, the people keep themselves pure, and can remain in God’s presence. When Israel attacks Ai the first time, and fails, Joshua asks God why the defeat. Someone failed in their obedience to God, keeping for themselves some plunder from Jericho:
“Among the spoils, I saw a beautiful Babylonian mantle, two hundred shekels of silver, and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight; I coveted them and I took them. They are now hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” (Joshua 7:21)
Achan fell to temptation, which led him to live a hidden life, having to hide his ill-gotten gain from others. We see in this example the consequences of sin, that it reaches beyond the one who commits the act to the whole community. In Israel’s case it brought defeat at Ai, because God was not with them. In our lives, we may not see it so clearly spelled out as in the case of Achan, but the effects are no less serious in the spiritual realm. In our society sin is more often seen as a personal matter, but its effects are not. Even Achan’s acts caused the lives of his family to be lost as well.
Let us keep in mind the poor end of Achan and his family as an example for us then next time we feel the tug of temptation in our hearts, and ask God to give us strength to resist temptation and sin at all costs.
Lord, in your mercy, come to our aid today and always, Amen.
May God bless you.