Joshua’s defeat of Jericho was the result of simple obedience. He marched around the city once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day and miraculously the walls all fell down (Joshua 6). The next town was going to be easy, so a force of 3000 was dispatched and…disaster! They were humiliated as they showed their backs to their enemy from the small town of Ai. What went wrong? It was God. He was not with them. The cause of this tragedy turned out to be a man by the name of Achan. He had taken valuables during the destruction of Jericho. God’s anger burned against all of Israel because of the sin of this one man. Thirty-six Israelites were needlessly killed because of Achan (Joshua 7). Achan’s greed did what greed does—it wastes lives. Ironically, we see greed as a personal sin, not affecting the group. Naively, we buy into the narrative – to the peril of everything that is good. Forget the accumulation of possessions, that’s not my point. I’m talking about a life distracted. Missing out on spiritual creativity. Lost investment in the daily lives of our families, brethren and those away from the Lord. Greed is an idol that will ‘have no other gods before it.’ It devours its prey by sucking the life out of its worshiper and every life that he touches—Achan proved this! The only cure for greed is stewardship (2Cor.9:6-15). Accepting responsibility as a caretaker of God’s things. Things given to you to use in His service. You own nothing, you keep nothing, but you enjoy giving it away. This requires wisdom and insight. Something God gives generously to those who ask. Ask away…! Lives are at stake.
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