Echoes from the Valley - Joshua 7

A sobering hush fell upon the children of Israel in the Valley of Achor (trouble). Days before, they had miraculously conquered the formidable city of Jericho. Through unconventional military strategy they won a Six Day Battle. On the Seventh Day, the walls came tumblin’ down! A few days later, their intoxication with victory was met by staggering defeat at Ai. In their insanity, they thought the victory was their own brilliance. They forgot God! Proud of themselves, the Israelites had:

  1. Presumed upon God’s grace-they did not even pray before fighting

  2. Been overly self confident, if not arrogant and casual

  3. Minimized their enemy

  4. Only gathered human “intelligence” before engaging in the fight

  5. Run home fearful of men after 36 of their own soldiers were killed!

The Bad News

Israel’s leader Joshua and the other elders seriously sought God in repentance. At this point, the Lord revealed that one man named Achan had defied the Lord’s command at Jericho by stealing and hiding God’s portion. (See Joshua 6:19) This seemingly small sin represented:

  1. A weakening in the national moral fiber

  2. A siphoning off of energy and spiritual resources

  3. The undermining of successive victories

  4. A break in their intimate fellowship with God

  5. A deception that one can hide from God

  6. That lust, covetousness and greed ultimately cost lives

Judgment Day came for Achan in the Valley of Achor. “Be sure your sin will find you out” is more than a cute saying for children’s church. It is an eternal principle! Numbers 32:23

In the New Testament we find, Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:13 KJV

IT IS GOD WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO! This story is about keeping the moral law of God.

  1. God knows what is done in private as well as public

  2. Inviting God into our private life, prevents others from invading it and the need for exposure

  3. It would be better to be found out and die an honest man like Achan than to live a lie without ever being caught by human authorities

  4. Sooner or later we all come to the Valley of Achor (trouble)

  5. The fear of God once again permeated the camp and restored Israel and her reputation among the nations

  6. The fear of God before hand prevents judgment. The lack of it precipitates judgment

  7. Regardless of what some modern psychologists say or the horror stories we might hear on TV about certain abusive fathers, the fear of God keeps us clean. Psalm 19:9

This Old Testament Joshua did what he had to do. The historical big picture proved him right! This heavy moment is beyond description. For those of us who have stood before the human judgment bar, it is all too real!

The Good News

Our new Joshua, Yeshua, has come! He has the power to forgive the sin of those who come to Him in truth. No one else but Yeshua can provide the necessary remittance for our sins. He did this through His own blood sacrifice once for all!

We do not deny, excuse or build a self-defense. Our sin is ever before us. We admit it, make amends and then surprisingly, we find unexpected mercy.

He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NKJV Now mercy triumphs over judgment! James 2:13 NKJV

For all of us in recovery this truth is exhilarating! You see, The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later. 1 Timothy 5:24 MSG

Strangely, we are grateful that we got caught. We are glad to have that chapter behind us, expunged from our record. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. Psalm 103:11-13 NKJV

What Sweet relief!