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Wednesday Wonderings: Joshua 7

I take seminary classes with people that talk about having dozens of people in church with nothing to do, or having people that want to teach/lead/help but no opportunities. We don’t really have that problem in Almyra. Most of the folks willing to work are working as much as they are able, though there are always exceptions.

The end-result of this is that I am now teaching kids on Wednesday nights as part of our Stampede. I teach them for about 15 minutes, at which point their attention spans, my patience, and a large roll of duck tape (or a case, as here) are about to meet. The kids then move on to more active-learning segments and also do music and worship arts classes.

I go back to the kitchen where I belong.

However, about an hour later, I turn around and teach adults. And I have reached a conclusion: I’m going to teach the grown-ups what the kids are learning. Why?

Because it won’t hurt them to be reminded. And I need a blog-filler for Wednesdays, and I bet that not more than one of you who reads this will be here tonight, so it will be good for you, too. Plus, this has the effect for me of writing out the lesson which prepares me to teach better.

Overall, these will not be fully cohesive notes, rather just a smattering of ideas.

Tonight, we are looking at Joshua 7. The question at stake is How does God feel about sin? The follow-on from this is What is the penalty for sin? Who pays it?

The Biblical story centers around the disobedience of Achan at Jericho. We may spend some time with the adults discussing the moral implications of devoting the entire city to destruction, but I don’t think we can have that discussion with 5 year olds.

Achan kept some of what was to be destroyed. I think it’s worth noting that he kept stuff. He didn’t save a single person. He kept stuff. This speaks to a hardness in his heart.

We saw with the Rahab narrative in Joshua 2 that there was an escape option for the people of Jericho. The warfare traditions of the time would have led the people of Jericho to expect total destruction if they lost, and those who wanted to live knew they had to flee…or win. Yet Rahab’s testimony is that they knew who they were dealing with.

Achan’s sin affects everyone. That’s worth noting: sin affects the innocent. The sinner must be dealt with to restore the innocent. And there were 36 lives lost that could not be restored in any capacity. Sinners destroy lives that aren’t theirs.

Further, there is the statement to Joshua to quit crying about the problem and fix the sin. That’s important too.

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