Achan was aching for a little bit of silver.
The problem was that God had declared His all the loot of the siege of Jericho. It was like an offering to God. After that first siege, all subsequent spoils would be free pickings for the Israelite warriors.
Achan couldn’t wait. He scooped up some silver and a fine Babylonian tunic and buried it in his tent. He knew he wasn’t supposed to do that, but, as they say, he couldn’t resist.
As a result of his greed, 36 Israelites were killed in the next attack. God was no longer with them. This sin first had to be purged (and Achan killed), and then the conquest of Canaan could continue unabated.
A little bit of greed got him into big trouble.
Be careful with the endless lust for more and more and more stuff.
While the rest of the world lives on $1-$2 a day, we Westerners have an insatiable appetite for more and more. Such excess is sin. Be content with what you have! 😀
Dear Pastor Ashcraft,
Thank you for your post and the reminder that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). I know that God’s word further says that “the LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil” pointing out that it tempts some people away from faith in God, causing all kinds of grief. I personally have struggled to desire God over his gift many times.
Nevertheless, it is the attitude of the heart, not the excess itself, that is sin. Job, for example, had great excess and was held up as an example of faithfulness to Satan himself. His fortune was doubly restored by God after his trial. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were all very wealthy, as was David. Yet God called them friends, servants, and men after his own heart. And due to his wealth, Joseph of Arimathea was able to honor Christ Himself with the now famously empty tomb.
James tells those who are poor to take pride in their high position, but also those who are rich to take pride in their low position. Certainly, lack of abundance requires greater faith for day to day living. However, God uses the wealthy in His plan as well. Their faith is shown in their stewardship of His provision and the attitude of their hearts. He offers us abundance which, in Christ, can overflow to thanksgiving to God. (See 2 Cor. 9: 6-15) Though we understand it to be a “low position”, when lived in Christ, we can still take pride in it and be content even with plenty (Phil. 4: 11-13).
I offer this humbly, but sincerely, as I have struggled with a bias – even a prejudice – against the rich for many years. God has been working to help me see that it is not the excess, but the chasing after it; not the wealth itself, but the temptation to idolatry of it. I am learning to be thankful for those that have – and share – plenty. There are many that are choosing to double their “talents” FOR GOD’S GLORY, as “good and faithful servants”. I’m concerned that misunderstanding might cause some to bury it instead, and that is considered sin. (Mt 25:14-30)
Thanks, Robyn. Your comments are awesome and received. They help balance out what is written here.
Thank you for receiving them so humbly. Praying for God’s continued blessing on your important ministries. 🙂
Help us to be humble, always
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I live in another wealthy country, Japan, and I assure you, the temptation to greed is universal. Having said that, however, I also have to say that Americans seem least aware of the abundance they enjoy.
Tell me about. I just got in to LAX from an outreach in Atlanta. I rolled my eyes at my brothers complaining about how “run down” the airport looks. I recommended they go on a mission trip to Africa.