Friday, June 03, 2011

Trouble Makers In The Body Of Christ

Men of the Bible Series - Achan's disobedience affected everybody.

Joshua 7:1-5, 10-11  But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord. A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the Lord was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah.

2 Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the town of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven. 3 When they returned, they told Joshua, “There’s no need for all of us to go up there; it won’t take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don’t make all our people struggle to go up there.”

4 So approximately 3,000 warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai 5 chased the Israelites from the town gate as far as the quarries, and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away.
10 But the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 11 Israel has sinned and broken my covenant! They have stolen some of the things that I commanded must be set apart for me. And they have not only stolen them but have lied about it and hidden the things among their own belongings.

Second stop in the Promised Land, second military conquest, the Israelites have one win and one loss. What do you mean a loss?

It seems that somebody didn't listen when the Lord told Israel that all of the spoils of war at Jericho belonged to God. It was like the Lord was taking the first-fruits of the conquest of the land as an offering. Achan gave in to the temptation to take away just a small part of what belonged to God, what would it matter when Jericho was such a huge city full of riches, wouldn't God be okay with the 99.99% that was being left untouched?

James 1:12  God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.

God promises us the the crown of life, just one of the blessings that come to those of us that "patiently endure testing and temptation" and refuse to pick out our blessing here and there, whenever we see something we like. Achan wanted a taste of the riches of Jericho and because he gave into the temptation he missed out on all of the riches that God wanted to bestow on the nation of Israel.

Instead of his blessings the nation suffered defeat. We may think that we are islands in the body of Christ and that what we do isn't a big deal but that isn't anywhere near being true. The church is crippled and held back each time that a Christ follower falls down.

1 Corinthians 12:26  If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

The world sees our irresponsible behavior and they are hardened to the message that we have to share. Each failure that they see in the body of Christ is a stumbling block that needs to be hurdled in order for them to believe in the message that we have to share.

I need to be a messenger of the gospel that doesn't get in the way of the message. I need to live in obedience so that the world will not resist the gospel because of me.

Help me Lord to be a good example of what your grace can do in a persons life.

You might like to read: Men of the Bible blog series.