What Difference Does It Make?

But the Israelites acted unfaithfully in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel. Joshua 7:1

Quizically, they’re looking at me from across the chipped up table and I’m starting to get uncomfortable. My throat’s tightening up I keep swallowing forcing the moan that’s building back down. I’ve read this story before, but this reaction that’s usurping me–this is a first.

We’re reading the story of Joshua leading the Israelites into battle and they have just lost the battle at Ai. The Lord informs Joshua that their loss is attributed to the fact that one of the Israelites took items they were specifically instructed not to take from the enemy. Joshua has, at this point, been searching the camp for the offending Israelite. Joshua 7:11-26

Then Joshua said to Achan, β€œMy son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” Joshua 7:19

I’m imagining Achan standing there, exposed surrounded, fearful, facing Joshua knowing the evidence of his sin is buried just steps away, in the center of his tent, his home.

Achan replied, β€œIt is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done:When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia,two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” Joshua 7:20-21

Reading this confession, my own lips trembling, eyes brimming, the howl building in my belly– “What’s wrong Mom?” The younger one asks. My face flushes, I’m trying to hold it together, I just want to get through the story. I’m annoyed at this shocking swell of emotion. But I know how this story ends–it’s Wednesday morning a few thousand years later and I’m grieving for this foolish Achan, for how much I’m like him.

How many times have I stored up forbidden treasures in my tent, in my heart? How foolishly have we been swayed by greed and lust for things which will ultimately bring certain death upon our house–maybe not in the physical sense, but spiritual death. How many times do we think what we do makes no real difference?

The truth is, we often don’t always know the full impact of our sins. Achan buried forbidden treasure in his tent. His actions cost the Israelites a battle that they should have won. Worse still, he went on to lose his entire family and everything he valued, including his very life.(Joshua 7:24)

Reading this story to my wide-eyed boys reminded me of just how grievous our sin truly is. We don’t like to think about it, because it’s unpleasant, society rolls their collective eyes at the very mention of the word, but God’s reaction is very different. Our sin matters.

Obedience to God’s word isn’t merely a suggestion, but a mandate under which we are called to live. <–Tweet This

Pray with me~ Father God, forgive me for the times I make light of your commandments and choose sin over obedience. Lord give me a heart that longs to serve and walk upright in accordance with your will. Renew me Father, lead me down paths of righteousness for your names sake. See that my words and actions might be used to glorify you. In Jesus perfect and holy name I ask these things, Amen.

He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13

9 Responses to What Difference Does It Make?
  1. Eryn {mamahall}
    July 31, 2012 | 6:16 am

    i know this. and i pray.

  2. Nikki
    July 31, 2012 | 9:49 am

    This completes my devotion time this morning, Kris. Your post is so timely for me.
    I’ve been battling with idols I’ve had to let go of recently. Primarily, the guilt from letting these idols take up residence in my heart.
    This morning, I read from Luke 7 where it says “If the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal…” and it made me see…I’ve been so ashamed of the forgiveness I’ve needed when in reality, it’s gratitude He wants me to exude.

    What grace!

    • Kris
      July 31, 2012 | 7:25 pm

      What a beautiful word He gave you this morning, Nikki! I love it when His word comes alive in us, and encourages and directs our steps, changing out heart and adjusting our attitudes. You know me, I’ve been living in the land of constant attitude adjustment. I’ve still so far yet to go! thank you for commenting here today. Your words encourage me greatly πŸ˜‰


  3. Joan
    July 31, 2012 | 10:25 am

    This has been my belief now for a long time, but you have said it better. Way to much hurry in this world we live and take care of today. I am tired of so many things now, being pushed down the highway, cutting in lines, interruptions, and no one seems to care and respect others.
    Much luck to you and yours, may your God Bless.

    • kris
      August 1, 2012 | 2:04 pm

      Bless you, Joan. Keep praying, God hears your heart and knows. There’s hope–always hope!

  4. Jennifer
    July 31, 2012 | 9:41 pm

    Oh, yes, I know this, the uncomfortableness as the truth of my sin pushes in, is revealed to my heart. And to accept it, see it for the darkness it is, the separation of me from the truth of the Father, when I deny it’s existence, when I want to hold on to what seems more comfortable, more safe . . . is the question always before me. {Will I turn this over to You, Father? Do I trust You, fully, with all of me? Is this sin — which I can fool myself to seem so small — really, as big as any other?} Thank you, Kris. Thank you for your courage to share this truth here. I am blessed.

    • kris
      August 1, 2012 | 2:05 pm

      Thank YOU for encouraging me here. So nice to hear from you and share your heart on this.

  5. Renny
    July 31, 2012 | 10:43 pm

    Thank you…

    I am blessed.


    • kris
      August 1, 2012 | 2:05 pm

      Renny~ So glad you stopped by today. God be with you and give you His unfailing joy and hope.