Sin in the Camp

Scripture:  Joshua 7:1-12 and 24-26 - But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel. 2 And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. 3 And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few.4 So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. 5 And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water. 6 And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the Lord until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads.  7 And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord God, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! 8 O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? 10 And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 11 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. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you……. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 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. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.

When a part of us isn’t feeling well, we say that we are sick.  The story of Achan in Joshua 7 demonstrates how an entire group of people can be affected by the sin of one person.  The Israelites had just experienced an awesome demonstration of God’s power – as they had just crossed the Jordan River.  They were finally settled in the Canaan land. After the miraculous conquest of Jericho, the Israelites had a reputation – both in the eyes of their enemies and even in their own eyes.

Ai was the Israelites next city to conquer.  They probably were overconfident, and they didn’t take time to diligently pray over their upcoming situation.  They were defeated by a group smaller than them, which was humiliating for them.  Their reputation and their ego were damaged.  Joshua blamed God for the defeat, but God informed Joshua that sin was in the camp – which caused the defeat.  God made sure the person who had sinned was exposed.  

Achan saw, wanted, and took things that were dedicated to God.  The sin of one person affected all.   The sin had to be confessed and dealt with, and blessings were withheld.  We must realize that sins made by one person can be the downfall of an entire group.  It’s so imperative that we confess our sins (I John 1:9) and turn away from them before they are radically and embarrassingly exposed to all.  We should avoid grieving the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).  

Prayer:  Dear Heavenly Father:  Help me to take sin seriously in every area of my life.  Help me to keep a short account of sin (I John 1:9).  I realize that You know everything, and no matter what sin I commit, you know it.  I can’t cover up any sin from You.  You see it for what it is, and You know the motive for what I do.  Also, I don’t want to negatively affect others.  All this I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

(by Marsha Williams)

3 Comments


Wendy - November 20th, 2021 at 11:11am

Amen! Sis Marsha.very encouraging Devotional!🙏

Robert Williams - November 20th, 2021 at 4:41pm

Amen! Thank God for forgiveness of our sins.

Novella - November 23rd, 2021 at 2:01pm

Amen, Sister Marsha.

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