Achan was a young man with a large family and plenty of belongings. He had a tent for his family and fields full of cattle, sheep and donkeys. He fought with the army, made up of most of the men in the tribes, and he was there when the walls of Jericho fell. As he walked through the ruins of the great city, he remembered the words of Joshua, their Leader: “God says do not take anything from the city.” But when he saw the glint of silver and gold from under a stone, he couldn’t resist having a quick look. Wrapped in beautiful embroidered robe were many silver coins and a heavy bar of gold. In a split second Achan thought of all he could do with such riches-wow! As he picked up the bundle and imagined his wife dressed in the robe, he almost forgot Joshua’s word…but only almost. A few weeks later Joshua led the people of Israel in their shock and horror. After years of being the best army anywhere and generations of winning every fight and battle, they had lost! It was too unbelievable; it was embarrassing, it was so uncool! Joshua called out to God. “Why are we here? Have we won all these battles and walked for so many years to die in this awful place? Where were you in the battle, God?
The People were lost for words. They had planned to win the fight and take over the of Ai without any trouble- God had never let them fail before. But it soon came to light that someone had disobeyed God, and as a result his people had not won. Achan kept hearing Joshua’s words; “God says do not take anything from the city’, and deep inside he knew that it was all his fault.
God guided Joshua to find the guilty one. Joshua listened to God as each tribe in turn was brought before him, and the tribe of Judah, Achan’s tribe was chosen. Then the many clans in the tribe stood before Joshua and Achan’s clan, Zerah, was picked out.
Achan stood amongst his family and friends, knowing that there nothing he could do to escape. It was almost as if a big arrow was in the sky, pointing down at him! He done wrong, hoping that he could hide the stolen things from everyone including God. His heart was thumping, and he went red as his family was pointed out to, and then Joshua said his name. Achan stepped forward; he knew there was no way out now. ‘I took some gold and silver, and beautiful robe!’ he said. ‘I saw it, and I really wanted it.’ The stolen treasure was brought from Achan’s tent and given to Joshua, who told Achan that he must face the punishment for letting down and failing God so badly-he would be put to death.
Lessons from Achan’s Behave
Achan was driven by greed. He had plenty but he wanted more. We have many Achan’s in South Africa who have plenty but are driven by greed and become corrupt. We should ask God to give us what we need and the joy to be content.
Achan disobeyed God. As a result, the whole Nation of Israel suffered. Because of Achan’s of our time South Africa continues to suffer due to corruption and greed. We need to follow the rule of law and to obey so that prosperity can come to all who live in South Africa not just a few.
Achan did not own up. Hence today we have the Zondo commission people being forced to own up and take responsibility and to face consequences. However, the biggest consequences have been the suffering masses of South Africa. Unemployment continues because people stole through over inflated invoices and poor service delivery. The story of Eskom, Prasa, Durban Waste Mangement.
Achan’s example shows how an individual or individuals can lead a nation into disaster and bring untold suffering.
We need more Joshua’s in South Africa. People we are accountable to God and to South Africans. Being Honest individuals brings prosperity to all. Achan brought disaster not only to his family but the whole Nation of Israel.
Fr. Barnabas Nqindi
My name is Barnabas Sibusiso Nqindi, rector of St Barnabas-Bluff. I enjoy a good debate and I love to see people grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ