The Man Who Loses the Battle of Life

Saturday, April 13, 2013

“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: when I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it” (Josh. 7:20–21).

Scripture Reading: Joshua 7:1–26

The arrival of Israel in the Promised Land was a success story. The Israelites had crossed the Jordan victoriously, had met God at Gilgal, and had conquered Jericho. When we come to Joshua 7 we find Israel in retreat and in defeat and Joshua on his face before God, filled with dismay and crying out to God for an answer:

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 of the Jordan! O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! 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? (vv. 7–9)

God answered Joshua’s prayer:

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. (vv. 10–12)

Achan was the man who caused Israel to lose the battle of Ai. He is mentioned three times in the Bible and always with reference to the defeat at Ai (Josh. 7; 22:20; 1 Chron. 2:7). He not only caused Israel to lose their battle in the conquest of Canaan, but he lost his own battle with life.
God does not want his children to lose the battle of life. He wants us to be victorious. Why did Achan lose?

1) The man who is covetous loses the battle of life.

Achan said: “I coveted them” (Josh. 7:21). The tenth commandment is a prohibition of covetousness. Paul pointed out that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Covetous persons give themselves to wrong appetites, wrong desires, and wrong intentions.
Achan gave himself to covetousness, to gaining this world’s goods. He sought that which it was not right for him to have. He was a covetous man, and his covetousness is one of the reasons he lost the battle of life.

2) The man who disobeys God’s commands loses the battle of life.

Joshua had given to Israel God’s commands concerning Jericho (Josh. 6:17–19; 7:11). Jericho and all that was in it were to be devoted to the Lord. The people were to be put to death with the exception of Rahab and her family. The Israelites must have faced great temptation in having to destroy so many valuable things instead of taking them for themselves, but God had given his commands, and they were to be obeyed.
Achan disobeyed God and took of the spoils of Ai that were set apart by the Lord.

3) The man who transgresses God’s covenant loses the battle of life.

God had made a covenant with Joshua and Israel for the seizure and capture of Jericho. The covenant must be kept. Everything in Jericho was to be devoted to the Lord. All living beings were to be slain. The destructible materials were to be burned, and the indestructible materials were to be consecrated to the service of God. The sin was more than an act of disobedience; it was a violation of the divine covenant.
The sin of Achan was a sacrilege, a robbery of God, an impious seizure. The secrecy with which the sin was committed was a defiance of the omniscience of God. Achan violated God’s covenant with Israel.

4) The man who steals from God loses the battle of life.

Achan took that which belonged to God: “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I have commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen” (Josh. 7:11). The fact that God had condemned the property and consecrated the metals should have kept Achan from stealing the property.
Sin deprives God not only of silver and gold, but of honor, love, service, and talents.
What are you taking from God? Are you taking the tithe? Are you taking time set aside for the worship of him?

5) The man who is untruthful loses the battle of life.

The King James Version says Achan “dissembled.” The New International Version translates the word as “lied.” The word means “to act deceitfully, to play the part of a hypocrite.” Achan acted untruthfully; he acted a lie.
Victories in life are won by people who are truthful before God.

6) The man who serves self rather than God loses the battle of life.

The trouble with Achan was that he wanted to serve self rather than God. He was more interested in his own desires than the desires of God. What he wanted was more important than what God wanted. He was not fully committed to God and God’s way.
You will not win the battle in life as long as you serve self. God’s desires must be considered. The accursed thing must be taken away. Everything done must please God and must be done for God’s glory.

7) The man who dishonors God’s name loses the battle of life.

Joshua felt that what Achan had done would dishonor God’s great and precious name. “And what wilt thou do unto thy great name?” (Josh. 7:9).
No person can sin and glorify God’s name. No person can sin without affecting others. No person can grow cold spiritually without lowering the temperature of those around. That person will either honor or dishonor the name of God.

Now in Conclusion

Are you winning the battle of life? Are you following God’s will for you and yours? Be an overcoming Christian and win life’s battle.

God bless you, Pastor Mike
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Turning our lives over to God is the ONLY way we will not lose the battle for our life. Great blog. God is GOOD!!!
    2402 days ago
  • JUDITH316
    Hi Pastor Mike, emoticon for sharing this inspiring Bible Blog, I came back to see if I had missed your e-mail prompt of when you post thinking I had missed it, and found that you hadn't posted since the 13th.. Trust all is well...I wouldn't say anything but your pattern for posting is either daily or every 2, since you are my brother and I care, I'm enquiring after you, and trusting that you are well... drop me a line when you can. emoticon emoticon
    2406 days ago
    I try very hard to to listen and each morning on my way to work I pray for myself and family to be open to the day.
    Great blog.
    2406 days ago
    This is a wonderful blog...and I sure want to do the right thing and be a winner.
    2408 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I love your blogs! They enrich my life.
    2408 days ago
  • ERIN1957
    Pastor Mike, oh what a battle we fight for our own souls with actions of self. A world that surrounds us is at a constant battle for our lives/souls and eternal salvation. We would be wise to slow down and stop, and seek God's will and not our own. We have to run to Him in all we do and truly we know right from wrong. God knows our hearts and He knows our intent not only in action, but as well self.
    Silly children we can be, by running ahead without thought and care, to find ourselves in deep trouble. Only having a close relationship with Him in the Word can we guard ourselves and protect ourselves, from the world and our fleshly wants. God gives us what we need and He is with us in all we do, if we allow Him.
    Thank you for feeding me today with a powerful lesson, reminding me how I need to be, act and live.
    In Him,
    2410 days ago
    It is comforting to me to know that God, is all knowing and he looks at our heart and knows our motives where men look outwardly and miss-judge our motives .

    No matter how much we love we can't out love God. No matter how much we give we can't out give God. No matter how much we serve we can't out serve God , because God truly is Great!

    We are rewarded when we do what God , leads us to do and not follow our selfish desires or worry about pleasing others. God first! Sometimes we struggle with doing the right thing and need to Prayer for Gods strength . As well as we should be praying for one another to make the right choice instead of running each other down. If we spent as much time praying for others as running them down then maybe God would lead them to a change.
    2410 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    Why is it so difficult to surrender to God?
    2410 days ago
    All will lose the battle of life, for it is the punishment of man's original sin isn't it? But our Hope, our Faith, our Love is built on the premise that all things are possible only believe..that there is another life. Joshua also teaches us, via his not doing so, to max on the potentials that God gave us, thereby claiming our true earthly inheritance, rather than just settling for the spoils of the promised land as the Israelites did (not claiming their full inheritence). We are not to worry of what will be in another life, but concentrate on living the love now, to teach and learn, making the most of our opportunities and time with each other, while we share in this blessing of life.....(when one of the apostles asked where he would sit in heaven). Only believe, all things are possible...FAITH + WORKS=GRACE.

    Keep up the good work.
    2410 days ago
  • no profile photo 63KEEPONGOING
    Great blog and good reminder to listen to God and be lead by him.
    2411 days ago

    Thanks for posting.

    It's a shocker when sin was so young at that time and yet there was so much sin in the world and no different than modern day.

    It's pretty scary you have to really be walking the straight walk with the Lord and holding on for dear life or else.

    I've been really getting convicted lately with things that happen to me lately and wondering even if I ignored that person what can I possibly do to not be having these trials? Nothing you have to go through them God is just molding me that's why.....

    Terrible knowing God is all knowing and still he stole. It shows how powerful they see there God so sad.

    Thanks for the message Pastor!!!

    2411 days ago
    Thanks as always Pastor Mike...
    You know Ron Graham of STRAIGHT AND NARROW put out awesome messages..Yours are right up there with his...FOOD FOR OUR SOULS!! AMEN!!
    2411 days ago
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    2411 days ago
    What a timely reminder! The disorder of life in general all revolves around not following God's rules. Oftentimes we in our humanness try to rationalize a decision that goes counter to what He would want us to do or say. But in the end we are hurting ourselves!

    For me, having daily conversations with Him makes it so important to live the Christian life, because I want to do that. I know He loves me and show Him that love back by listening to Him.

    HUGS and blessings, Pastor.
    2412 days ago
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    You have given us another powerful blog.
    This blog is a blessing!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2412 days ago
  • DBELLE39
    Thank you for this blessing, I enjoyed your blog.
    2412 days ago
    So true we now not that we are sinners in many ways Those who say they have no sin in them The truth is not in them God will work with us if we admit our sin and change our ways we live in a evil time much corruption greed and covertness
    2412 days ago
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