The Effects of Sin
Everyone knows the story of Joshua and the battle at Jericho. How the people of Israel circled the city once each day for six days, with the ark of the covenenant in their midst, and seven Levitical priests blowing trumpets of rams horns. On the seventh day, they circled the city seven times and at the command of Joshua, the people shouted and the walls of the city were flattened.
What we may fail to remember was that the spoil of the city was “corban”, dedicated to God. Israel was not allowed to take any of the possessions of the conquered city of Jericho. One man, however, disobeyed God, and took some of the booty for himself. Israel then went to destroy the small city of Ai. Ai was so small that the Israeli spies determined that it would only take about three thousand warriors to defeat the city. These three thousand were thoroughly routed.
Joshua and the elders of Israel tore their clothes and fell on their face until evening before the ark of the LORD. Joshua prayed to the LORD, confused over the defeat and agonizing for the people of Israel. Then God revealed to him why Israel had been defeated and told Joshua what to do.
In this story, we see one of the effects of sin. Sin is pervasive! Two million people were affected by the sin of one man. God would not allow the people to take possession of the land that He promised unless sin was expunged from their midst. The sinner was found out and put to death, he and his family and his possessions. “The wages of sin is death.”
Today in America, we have a casual attitude toward sin. No, that’s not right, many Americans embrace sin; even those who call themselves children of God. It is no wonder that God has turned his back on us as a nation. Those of us still loyal to God need to take action to remove sin from among us. That action is to introduce our neighbors the LORD Jesus. Oh, but we are so afraid. Afraid of what those neighbors will think of us. It would be better if we were afraid of the God of the universe than our neighbor.
Examine yourself! Who do you fear more, God or man?