Joshua said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?” Joshua 7 : 7 - 9
Good morning to you all. Today let us see about the next three prayer killers which Joshua 6 and 7 speak about.
“But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the LORD and must go into his treasury.” Joshua 6 : 18, 19
“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: That which is devoted is among you, O Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.’” Joshua 7 : 13
The Lord has clearly given what the Israelites were to do when the wall of Jericho fell down. But Achan disobeyed Him, even though he very clearly knew about it. This is the extreme disobedience, because he also knew that if he disobeys, it would bring a great disaster to the entire Israelites. He was so dare and he took some devoted things for himself. This was the only cause for why Israelites were defeated by the men of Ai, though they were not that strong to Israelites.
The Lord gave the second chance and asked them all to consecrate them. The first thing of consecration is nothing but removing the unwanted things from them. Achan didn’t consecrate himself. He showed his disobedience once again.
The Holy Spirit is very sensitive. When He points something to us that they are to be removed from us, we should act immediately. If we don’t pay enough attention, we may no longer hear His silent voice, which will result in great trauma. Sometimes, our disobedience is the main reason for the disobedience of our next generation. One good example which I hear very often is, “The father used to smoke when he was young and now, his son follows the same even without knowing that his dad did the same.” What you give returns to you one or the other day. Beware!!!
The Lord said, “In the morning, present yourselves tribe by tribe. The tribe that the LORD takes shall come forward clan by clan; the clan that the LORD takes shall come forward family by family; and the family that the LORD takes shall come forward man by man. He who is caught with the devoted things shall be destroyed by fire, along with all that belongs to him. He has violated the covenant of the LORD and has done a disgraceful thing in Israel!” Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was taken. The clans of Judah came forward, and he took the Zerahites. He had the clan of the Zerahites come forward by families, and Zimri was taken. Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Carmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.
Lack of transparency:
When Joshua asked the tribes to present themselves before him, Achan didn’t come forward to admit the truth. When he asked them to show up clan by clan, he didn’t admit. When Joshua asked them to come family by family, Achan didn’t confess his sin. When the chosen family was asked to come one by one, Achan could have admitted, but he didn’t. At last alas! He was picked by the Lord. And then he was stoned to death by others. If he had revealed what he did to Joshua, his end would have been changed. But he kept it as secret. He was not open to his leader. Friends, no matter under who you’re, you’re expected not to hide things from them and from the Lord.
Idols in lives:
Running for what is not stored for us, is also idol worship. It was pretty clear that the devoted things were not for the Israelites, they were to be burnt up. But Achan even after knowing that, he kept his heart on it and took some from it. That became his idol. And that led him to death. These idols were the stumbling block which prevented him from confessing his sins and from to be saved.
Only after Achan was stoned and the devoted things were burnt, the Lord gave them victory over Ai and answered the prayers of Israelites.
These four prayer killers (Unconfessed sins, disobedience, lack of transparency and idols in lives) are not four actually. They are very interrelated. If there is one inside us, we’ll automatically have all the others. Get rid of these prayer killers. May the Lord answer all your prayers without any barriers!