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Faith's Attic

They also have many other Christian gifts


This timely 'sneak preview' message is shared in hopes that you will share it with many others both by preaching it and by recommending it before the election.

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Prescription for an Achan Nation

Joshua 7


This timely 'sneak preview' message is shared in hopes that you will share it with many others both by preaching it and by recommending it before the election.

Recommend this sermon to others.  [A new window will open.  Rate this sermon from 1 to 5 'stars' with just a click, then close.]


Have you ever noticed the similarities between Israel and Christian America?  Both bountifully blessed by God, having great victories and claiming powerful promises of God.  And both flirting with defeat by turning away from Him.  Both nations have a friend in God and both have enemies that would love nothing more than to destroy them.


Let’s look at our text and see what we can learn about America, particularly today...


In our text nothing is left of Jericho but smoking rubble and ashes.  The people of that city are all dead, and the spoils were all to be dedicated to the Lord. 

Joshua 6:19
But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

The riches and bounty of that place were to be placed in the treasury.  It’s the principle of the first fruits...found throughout the Bible.  It says that the first of everything belongs to God.  The tithe [10% of our income] is a part of this principle, but God should also get the firstfruits not only of our treasure but of our time and talents.


When we give God the firstfruits we are recognizing His provision...that He provided the means, the energy, and the ability to live, work, and prosper.


We are also recognizing His property.  If you make $400 this week how much of it belongs to God?  All of it, not just $40.  Returning the first portion is a way of confirming that He is the owner of it all.


Finally, we are recognizing His power.  Only God has the power to take 90% and make it go further than 100% could have ever gone.


v. 1 speaks of the ‘accursed thing’.  Anything you steal from God has a curse on it.  So 90% of my income w/ God’s blessing upon it is much better than 100% w/ a curse placed upon it.  God is my partner.


        Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

When will some Christians finally get tired of trying to dig themselves out of a hole?  You’ve tried it your’s it working?  How about giving God’s way a try.  He invites you to put Him to the test that He’s never failed.  Do you have the faith to try His plan?


Joshua 7:21 shows the progression of sin as Achan saw, coveted, took, and hid.  Nobody saw what he did...except for God!


The next day Israel needs to finish off a little nearby village.  Not a great walled city like Jericho.  Ai is so small that Joshua’s captains recommend they just send a small detachment to do the job.


But no sooner than they invade they start sensing that God is not on their side.  Up to this point God had been fighting for them and giving them the victory, but not today.  36 men died and the name of God was disgraced. 


Why?  Because there was sin in the camp!


There was 2 parts to this sin:  personal and national.


The personal sin was Achan’s, and we covered it thoroughly in a recent message on covetousness:

He saw, he coveted, he took, and he hid.  First there’s desire, then deed, then deception.  It happened the same way for David w/ Bathsheba.  He saw her, wanted her, sent for her, then covered it up.  And it happens the same today for you and me.


So there was personal guilt involved...


But also national guilt...and I want to focus on that today.  The entire nation of Israel bore some responsibility for Achan’s sin.  This was an Achan Nation!  America is too, and God has the prescription!

v. 1a                “The children of Israel trespassed...”

v. 11        “Israel hath sinned...”


Why?  Because, if Israel had been right with God they could have prevented all of this. 


And we, the people of God, are in some sense responsible for the sins of America.  I’m talking about something called corporate guilt.  Why has America become an immoral nation?  In large part because of the apathy of those of us who know better.  We are supposed to be salt and light.  Salt that penetrates and light that radiates.  We are supposed to be the salty preservative of morality.  We are supposed to be a bright light of truth exposing the forces of darkness, but we aren’t doing a good job of it.


Ill.—collateral damage

We use this term sometimes about civilians who die because of war.  We always try to minimize it.  Our enemy actually tries to kill civilians, even their own to win.  It has been rightly said that Iraqi and Afghani civilians bear some responsibility for what they allowed their nations to become.  I know they have been oppressed, but by not rising up and overturning their leaders long ago they allowed their own oppression to occur!  We call them innocent civilians, and I think we should call them that, especially little children who have done nothing wrong.  But we need to remember that there is a sense of national guilt that exists.

        “What’s your point, preacher?”  Here it is--About half of professing Christians don’t vote in America.  In 2000 the state of Florida decided the Presidential Race by 537 votes…which was less than 1% of the professing Christians of FL who registered to vote...but didn’t vote!  They almost lost the entire election, and based on what happened next on 9/11 and in the war on terror since that time I say that you and I might have become ‘collateral damage’ as a result!

        We live in another state.  The name of our state is “Chicago!”  [not Illinois]  We have allowed Chicago to vote for our state.  We have allowed Chicago to become the acting capitol of our state.  And this week our nation may decide that we don’t mind if the name of our country is Chicago!  We are allowing this to happen and we bear some responsibility and we may become collateral damage!  You know, if America gets nuked, the Christians die along w/ everyone else.


You say, we’re not going to make a difference in this state.  You’re right that we won’t, but we could!  Some more basic reasons to vote are:  God is watching – it is our Christian duty – guys like Doug Henderson and millions more before him lay their lives on the line to give us this privilege that so many of us don’t even act upon!


Elections belong to the people.  It is their decision.

If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds,

then they will just have to sit on their blisters.

~Abraham Lincoln


God said in II Chron. 7:14, “If my people...”  The White House, the state house, the courthouse...all of these begin with the church house, which is made up of your house and my house!



Paul Harvey's year 2000 comment on Columbine High shootings:


How can we blame it all on guns?

For the life of me, I can't understand what could have gone wrong in Littleton, CO.  If only the parents had kept their children away from the guns, we wouldn't have had such a tragedy.  Yeah, it must have been the guns.

It couldn't have been because half our children are being raised in broken homes.

It couldn't have been because our children get to spend an average of 30 seconds in meaningful conversation with their parents each day.  After all, we give our children quality time.

It couldn't have been because we treat our children as pets and our pets as children.

It couldn't have been because we place our children in day care centers where they learn their socialization skills among their peers under the law of the jungle while employees who have no vested interest in the children look on and make sure that no blood is spilled.

It couldn't have been because we allow our children to watch, on the average, seven hours of television a day filled with the glorification of sex and violence that isn't fit for adult consumption.

It couldn't have been because we allow our children to enter into virtual worlds in which, to win the game, one must kill as many opponents as possible in the most sadistic way possible.

It couldn't have been because ... the children we have are so spoiled with material things that they come to equate the receiving of the material with love.

It couldn't have been because our children, who historically have been seen as a blessing from God, are now being viewed as either a mistake created when contraception fails or inconveniences that parents try to raise in their spare time.

It couldn't have been because we give two-year prison sentences to teenagers who kill their newborns.

It couldn't have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolved out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.

It couldn't have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative and that actions don't have consequences.  After all, the president can get away with it.

Nah, it must have been the guns.

Paul Harvey


It’s time we admit that we are in a mess in America and we all share the blame for the moral slide we’re on, whether you talk about crime, abortion, homosexuality, greed, materialism, sex...whatever!


We all share the responsibility for what is wrong, and we must all share the responsibility to make it right.  We cannot blame God or the government for the condition of our nation if we’re not willing to share the blame.


Here’s 3 reasons for Israel’s corporate sin [an Achan Nation]:


1.     Pride.

v. 3          They say, look at that little village...they’re no problem.  WE can take them w/ 1 hand tied behind our back.  After all, look what WE did to Jericho!

They forgot that Jericho was God’s victory.


Ill.—they were like the woodpecker who was working on a tree when, unknown to him, lightning struck the tree, splitting it in half.  He flew away and got his friends and brought them to the tree and said, “There it is, gentleman, right over there!


Our temptation when blessed so much is to think that we somehow are responsible for our situation.

1 Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Proverbs 16:18
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Don’t you know that we in America are asking for it!


2.     Presumption.

They assumed that God was with them. 


There’s no power of Satan too great for us to overcome in the power of the Spirit of God...but there’s no power of Satan so small that we can overcome it in the power of our flesh.


It’s not the Jerichos that defeat most’s the Ais. 

Song of Songs 2:15
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines...

In 1961 Boxing Champ Mohammed Ali was preparing to fight Joe Frazier.  He said, “There’s not a man alive that can whip me.  I’m too smart, I’m too pretty, I’m the greatest, I’m the king.  I oughta be a postage’s the only way I’ll ever get licked.”

        The next night Frazier beat his brains out.  Why?  Because there’s a difference between confidence and presumption.


One candidate this year is already planning the victory party in presumption.  Many of us are just as guilty.  God doesn’t have to keep blessing us.  We’re asking Him to judge us!


Israel shared nationally in the guilt of Achan’s sin because of their pride and presumption...


3.     Prayerlessness.

Joshua didn’t pray about Ai.  Because as soon as he did get around to praying God showed him what was wrong.  If he had prayed before God would have showed him the sin before and they would not have been defeated.  God has a prescription for America today, and we need to take it before it’s too late!


We do the exact same thing.  We wait ‘til we make a mess of things and then we go to prayer.  Prayer should be our first thought, not our last resort.  All our failures are prayer failures.  Prayerlessness is an umbrella sin under which all our other sins stay dry and cozy.


Pride was the father of presumption, and the grandfather of prayerlessness.


This timely 'sneak preview' message is shared in hopes that you will share it with many others both by preaching it and by recommending it before the election.

Recommend this sermon to others.  [A new window will open.  Rate this sermon from 1 to 5 'stars' with just a click, then close.]


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