The city of Jericho was terrified! Rahab and her family waited patiently as they were gathered in her home, which was built right into the wall, the red rope hanging from her window. On the seventh day, the priest gave a loud long blast from their horns and all the Israelites gave a might shout!.....And the wall that surrounded the city came crashing down! Unbelievable! I’m sure the Israelite army was so amazed at what God had done!
Joshua shouted out orders. “Leave everything in the city to be burned unless you find gold, silver, bronze or iron. Take these things to be put into the Lord’s treasury. Do not keep anything for yourselves!” Then he told the two spies that had been hidden by Rahab (remember a few weeks back, Rahab hid the Israelite spies when they came to check out the city of Jericho?) to go and bring Rahab and her family to safety.
But wait a minute! The wall came crashing down and Rahab’s house was built right into the wall. Surely her house and her family were destroyed when the wall came down. No. God miraculously spared Rahab and her family! The entire wall collapsed, but God honored the promise that had been made to Rahab for her protection by the two spies. She is even mentioned again in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews because of her faith. The two Israelites found Rahab and her family and brought them back to the Israelite camp.
Meanwhile, The Israelite army gathered all the Gold, silver, bronze and iron for the Lord’s treasury. Then they set fire to the city and burned everything in it. The people in Jericho were very bad people and God didn’t want any of them or their belongings around to corrupt the Israelites as they entered the promised land. Joshua led the Israelite army back to camp. All the gold, silver, bronze and iron was put into the treasury of the Lord. All but a brick of gold, 200 silver coins and a beautiful robe. One of the soldiers broke the law of God and kept some for himself. His name was Achan. While the rest of the Israelites were celebrating the victory, Achan was in his tent digging a hole. He buried the silver coins then the robe and then the gold brick.
"How would anyone ever know?” He thought to himself. “There was more than enough for the treasury.”
Sometimes we do something wrong because we know that there is no way we could be caught. But that is wrong thinking. For one thing, God sees everything. Even if our parents or anyone else doesn’t see us.... God does. Secondly, when we obey, because it is the right thing to do, it builds our character. The more we build our character, the stronger we get. The stronger we get, the easier it is to fight temptation and do the right thing.
And thirdly, The Bible says that your sin will be found out sooner or later.
Everything was going well for the Israelites. A small city named Ai (even their name is small) was next between them and the promised land. Joshua sent only a few thousand men to defeat the city since it was so small. But Ai defeated the Israelites, killing 36 of them and sending the rest running back to camp. Joshua fell on his face before God and cried out. “Why God? We defeated the great city of Jericho without a single life being lost, then we lose 36 men to a small town! Why?”
God answered. “It is because one of your men has sinned. He has taken some gold and silver from Jericho for himself. It is because of this that I was not with you in Ai.”
Joshua knew that he had to find out who did this thing that ended up killing 36 men so he called everyone out of their tents. All the soldiers and their families gathered before Joshua. He said that there was sin in the camp. That someone had taken some of the gold and silver instead of putting it in the Lord’s treasury. There were a lot of people there. Achan probably thought to himself that they will never find him out. We will find out next time if he’s right.
So we can see a couple of things.
(1) God is faithful.(He protected Rahab and her family in a miraculous way.)
(2) God is all seeing. (He saw Achan stealing the gold and silver. He sees us when we do wrong or right)
(3) God desires our love and obedience. (Obeying God is how we tell Him that we love Him)