Have you ever thought about the audacity it would require to think you can take something of God’s? Consider how crazy it would be to look at a thing that the Lord has claimed as his own and think that you will somehow make off with it.
When Joshua and the Israelites were taking the city of Jericho, God staked a claim on the treasure of that city.
Joshua 6:18-19 – 18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord.
No thinking person can find this command offensive. God is the King. God is the one providing the supernatural power for victory over that city. God, the One Israel has covenanted to follow as their Lord, has every right to tell the people what spoils from that battle must go into his treasury. And to take from that claimed by the Lord is theft on the highest order.
And you know what happened, don’t you?
Joshua 7:1 – But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things, for Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of the devoted things. And the anger of the Lord burned against the people of Israel.
The first person to be executed in the promised land is Achan, because he stole from that which the Lord claimed. He broke faith with the Lord, refusing to follow God as the King. God made a command, Achan broke that command, and God carried out justice.
As we realize that God is perfectly within his rights as Lord over the universe to say what belongs to him, we should look closely at our own lives. What has God claimed to be his now? Are you a Christian? God has claimed you, all of you, as his own. You are not your own. You are bought with a price. Your life is not your own. Your home, your family, your possessions, your career, none of these are yours. All that you are belongs to God.
Would you be like Achan? Would you look at something that God has claimed as his own and try to take it for yourself?
Let this sad account of a rebellious man be for us a reminder. Our lives are not ours. We belong to the Lord. He has every right to claim from us everything we are. May we give it freely and live under his gracious rule.