SCRIPTURE: Joshua Chapter 7:1-25


In Joshua chapter 6 we saw how the Lord delivered Jericho into the hands of the Israelites.  The wall of Jericho was a symbolic for a stronghold to their breakthroughs.  It is the only thing standing between them and their promised land.  The Lord knew this when He told Joshua in chapter 6 verse 2 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.”  God had already given them victory even before they fought.  As God promised the children of Israel He delivered Jericho into their hands. Joshua chapter 6:27 ended the chapter with these words “So the LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was noised throughout all the country.”


Immediately, we got to chapter 7 verse1 the story changed and the bible said “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.”  


This morning we are going to look at a story of one man in the bible called Achan.  Achan took the accursed things; accursed things are the devoted things, things that are dedicated to God.  He took the sacred things and the anger of God rose against the children of Israel.  It was a serious offense in the sight of God because it was in direct disobedience to God. At this particular point no one knew what Achan had done and he himself thought he could get away with the things he had stolen.  The same thing goes with many Christians today; many live in sins and believe that they could never be found out.  

Joshua and the Israelites with confidence in the Lord to delivered to the utmost, sent spies to Ai.  The spies returned with good news that Ai would be an easy target, because there weren’t many men there.  They were so sure of their reports that they said it would only take a few armies to conquer Ai.  With the good news Joshua did not consult with God on the strategies they need to use to win the battle confronting them buts sent 3,000 men to overtake Ai. The moment the army arrived at the city, they were surprised to find out that they were overmatched, they turned back and fled.   The bible said there were about three thousand men that went up; but they were routed by men of Ai who killed about thirty-six of them.  Brethren, notice that since the Exodus until the time of war with Ai, the children of Israel has not lost any life in a battle. They had just taken Jericho, a comparative stronghold, without losing a single man. Now, they were immediately overmatched and several of them died as they fled.  Any one with a spiritual eye would know that something was wrong and would have wanted to find out what went wrong. That was exactly what Joshua did.

Joshua immediately forgot about dignity.  He forgot about normal church prayer; he tore his cloth and fell on his facedown to the ground before the Ark of the Lord, staying there till evening.   This kind of prayer is a prayer of a man who was afraid and confused by the way things turned out to be.  Joshua prayed a prayer of asking—he wanted to know why it happened.  God is a merciful God He would answer anyone who asked.  He told him in verse 10-12 “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? 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. 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.”

God gave them a straight forward answer that He would no longer be with them unless they destroy the accursed from among them.  Through the wisdom of God Achan’s sin eventually found him out.  What he was hiding and thought no one would know came out to the open.  Achan’s stupid action cost him his life and the life of his entire family.  What a wasted life.  The bible says he that covereth is sin shall not prosper but he that confeseth and forsaketh them shall obtain mercy.  Achan and his family did not prosper but perish because he concealed his sin.



1.  He took the dedicated things that belongs to God

2.  He disobeyed God’s direct command

3.  He was living a doubled live, he was a hypocrite

4.  His desire was for personal gain.

5.  He did not trust God for his provision but relied on his own way of making provision

     for himself and his family.

6.  He believed his sin could be concealed so that no one would find out what he had

     one in secret.

7.  He had a spirit of rebellion which later manifested in his life.

8.  Many men died because of his sin

9.  Fear came upon the army of the Israelites

10. Joshua was put in a position of questioning God

11. God immediately withdrew his protection from them

12. Achan’s generation would be lost as a result of his sin

We can trace the root of Achan's sin to pride of the heart, greediness, and lack of faith in God.



1.  DISOBEDIENCE IS A SIN: Achan was disobedient to God.  He intentionally disobeyed God’s direct command.  Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft; and he paid with his own life and the life of his family.  You may wonder why his family had to pay his sin.  The whole family is considered as one in the ancient world and since he is the head of his family the entire family is affected by his family.  If he had prospered the whole family would prosper but unfortunately it was the other way round. 

Many today do the same with adultery. God gave a clearly command not to commit adultery, yet a great number of people do still do it.  The scary thing is the so called born again Christian.  When you asked they tell you is the devil and the flesh pressure them.  For many people they believe they can get away with it. They believe God wants to withhold something good from them.

You can say no I will never commit adultery but how about your tithe? Are you a faithful thither?  Do you steal what belongs to God by not paying your tithe regularly or not paying it at all?  Your own disobedience may not be directly in the way Achan did.

However, if you are disobeying God by not forgiving those who hurt you so are also an Achan in the camp.  If you are the one constantly finding fault in your pastors.  You are the only one that knows how to talk your pastor is not good you are an Achan in the camp.


2. COVETEOUSNESS:  For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart Isaiah 57:17.”  Achan was a very greedy man, wanted what God said he should not have.  Anyone in this category is doom for destruction.  (Other scriptures are Ephesians 5:5; Col. 3:5; Heb. 13:5)


3. PRIDE: he believed his way was better than God's way.  Pride make a man think he is the only one that is good or better.  A person with pride wants to do things their own way.  They get upset with little instruction that does not follow what they want.  Many have left the church of God, simply because pastor told them to do things differently from what they are use to.  This is what causes Achan and his entire family their life.  Perhaps you are sitting down here this morning and you are always upset when a new direction is giving to you—you need to repent and turn from your wicked way.


4. Unbelief and Fear:  Fear of how he would provide for himself and his family came upon he—he did not believe in the power of God to bless him and his family in the future.  He wanted to keep those things in case God failed to provide.   He forgot that seeking the kingdom first and his righteousness is the only thing that can guarantee that every other thing he needed would be added unto him.


For as long as we tolerate and cherish sin in the church, God will just be looking and He would withhold power to excel from such church.  There will be not spiritual success in such church.  They will be loosing battle every where and they will flea in fear from their enemies.  The same thing is for individual who harbor sin in their life.  Such a life will become a battle field for Satan and his army.  God told Joshua in verse two that "Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you".  Except we destroy the accursed things in our life in our heart and in our church we cannot see God. 

This morning, I want you to stand on your feet and go before the Lord.  Ask him for forgiveness of sin.  Ask him to forgive you of any form of pride, covetousness, and unbelief that you have ever exhibited in your heart and your life.   Ask him to destroy their roots from your life. Ask God to fill you with fresh fire from above.


Prayer Points

1. Every root of pride in my life, dry up in the name of Jesus.

2. You my life reject the spirit of covetousness in the name of Jesus.

3. O Lord, my father, help my unbelief in the name of Jesus.

4. Every Achan in the camp of my life; die in the name of Jesus.

5. Every invitation to rebellion, roast in Jesus’ name.

6. Any spirit of the world beckoning to me be bound in Jesus’ name.

7. Any part of me thirsting for friendship with the world, receive divine deliverance in

    Jesus’ name

8. I reject the activities of the spirit of hypocrisy in Jesus’ name.

9. I refuse to give the accuser of the brethren any legal ground in my life.

10. Every destructive habit, designed to waste my life die in the name of Jesus.

11. Holy Ghost, fire destroy all works of darkness in my life in Jesus’ name.

12. Deliver me, O Lord from the grip of spiritual weakness and negligence in Jesus’


13. Father Lord, uphold me with your right hand of righteousness in Jesus’ name.

14. Thank God for all answered prayers.