FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
God does not overlook sin
Jerry A Collins
How serious does God about sin?
How should we deal with sin in our lives?
How far do the consequences of our sin go?
Woodrow Wilson’s (28th president) father was a minister in
the South. He joined a group of men caught up in what could be seen as a heated
discussion. One of these men lost his temper and cursed loudly. Only then did
he observe minister Wilson in the group. He apologized
profusely and said ‘Sir, I had
forgotten that you were present. Please pardon me. Dr. Wilson replied, “It is not to me that you owe an apology,
but to God.” (From the Quiet Hour,
Sept-Nov 1997, pg 54). It is also true that the distance between a great
victory and a great defeat is only one step! Often it is a short one at that.
One moment a great victory at
1. WHEN WE SIN WE ARE UNFAITHFUL TO GOD 1
The word “But’ sets the
contrast between a
(1) They acted unfaithfully. This, by the way, is the history of
(2) Sons of
(3) Sin does not escape God. God is omniscient. Sin never escapes His watchful eye. We can fool others but God sees what we try to hide from them. And this only hinders God’s will and creates trouble for ourselves and others.
(4) Attention to God’s holiness. Sin is not small matter with God because it is rebellion and is against the holy nature of God. God is completely set apart from anything evil and so His people must be too. Since sin is something we do against God, God must do something about it.
2. SIN ALWAYS BRINGS DESTRUCTION AND DEFEAT 2-9
Sin has many consequences and none of then is ever good. We see this here in the consequences of sin in the life of God’s people.
Spies are sent 2-3. Unaware of what Achan did, Joshua sends spies to Ai. They said it would be easy to capture, so they just send 3000 men to battle.
Confusion leads to prayer 6-9 Joshua tore his clothes in mourning
before the ark. The elders also did so.
Joshua was learning something about God. If we do not learn and grow in our
understanding about God and ourselves in every situation, we will eventually
become discouraged and drift away from God and our calling. No matter how much
we give our lives to good things and worthwhile efforts, unless we see our
value enhanced in those efforts, we will eventually drift away from
discouragement or disillusionment. So his confusion leads him to pray,
complaining to God, because he does not understand his defeat. It is biblical
to express confusion and frustration in prayer. Sin in my
life, or some unwise practice which I am unaware of, may be hindering me from
doing God’s work. If I do not
know what it is I should ask God to show me thru His word.
3. SIN IS NEVER OVERLOOKED BY GOD 10-15
In this section God mentions four things about this sin:
Consecrate yourselves 13 We should pay attention to our sin so that we are sensitive to it and deal with it. Here Joshua is preparing the people to deal with the problem by calling attention to the cause of their defeat.
Catch the sinner 14-15 God told Joshua how to catch the sinner. Come by tribes, family, and person. The point of this is to expose and then purge this sin from their midst but taking this one and burning him and all his possessions with fire. God takes sin very seriously.
3. SIN IS EXPOSED AND BRINGS CONSEQUENCES 16-26
There is no such thing as sin without consequences. Sin is never free (Col 3:25;Jas 5:19-20).
Achan was forced to confess 16-19 Here is the process of discovery and exposure. Sin always follows this path. You cannot sin and get away with it. Achan offered no repentance until forced to confess. It was not until his household was singled out that Joshua said to him Give glory to God and tell what you have done. Achan confessed coveting & stealing 20-21 This confession did nothing to erase the consequences of his sin. To erase the consequences would violate the justice of God. Confession will reestablish our fellowship with God but it will not take away the consequences we have to live with because of it. It will stop further ones. Admission is not the same as repentance. You must call your sin the same thing God calls it and then decide to turn away from it. Achan held accountable 22-26 Reminds me of Annanias and Sapphira, another occasion when God was beginning something new to reiterate the seriousness of sin in His people. The stolen things were found, Achan stoned, everything burned. God is just and expected His Word to be kept literally. We are out brothers keeper with respect to the laws of Christ and holding them accountable (1 Cor 5; Gal 6:1; Jas 5).
(1) If we focus on experience or
circumstances, instead of God’s Word we will be confused
about the work of God. Josh concluded by looking at circumstances that they
should have stayed on east side of
(2) Best way to stay in God’s favor is to tell the truth, tell it soon and tell it yourself—don’t wait to be confronted of it by others.
(3) Reasons for suffering may include a. your sin b. your stupidity c. you obeyed God. Every time we have problems our first response is usually to say it is because of our sin because we have so much of it. Sins appeal is to be your own person, do your own thing, assert your own independence from God. But God calls for dependence upon him.