An intense warning
“Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest.” So Joshua sent some men to make a search. They ran to the tent and found the stolen goods hidden there, just as Achan had said, with the silver buried beneath the rest. They took the things from the tent and brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites. Then they laid them on the ground in the presence of the Lord. Then Joshua and all the Israelites took Achan, the silver, the robe, the bar of gold, his sons, daughters, cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, tent, and everything he had, and they brought them to the valley of Achor. Then Joshua said to Achan, “Why have you brought trouble on us? The Lord will now bring trouble on you.” Joshua 7:20-25 NLT
God is love. “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them” (1 John 4:16). God longs to bless His children. God is light. “This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5). The judgment to Achan and his family was an intense warning that we should not take lightly God’s Word. Disobedience to His Word will lead to punishment. God made it plain to the people that if anyone violated His command about the spoils He would bring calamity, not just upon that person, but upon the whole nation (see Joshua 6:18). Despite the command, Achan and his family did not listen and refused to live for the honor and glory of God. They followed their selfish desires and for that they paid a terrible price. God has not changed in His nature and in His fundamental purposes. He values each and every one of us that He is willing to pay the price through the blood of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore “‘you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as ‘temporary residents.’ For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God’” (1 Peter 1:17-19). The severe temporal judgment meted to Achan and his family is designed to show the far greater eternal judgement that awaits all those who put themselves above God. Beware of following Achan’s footsteps and take heed of Jesus’ warning. “‘Jesus asked. ‘Is that why they suffered? Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God...Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too’” (Luke 13:3, 5). Life and purpose are found not on the things of the world but in Christ.