Thank God for grace!
So here's the end of the trail for Achan...
Joshua 7:18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger.
We are pretty hard on Achan, and rightfully so. His selfishness and disobedience put millions of lives at risk. Indeed, several innocent men died because of his actions. Israel had lost God's favor because of this one heinous act.
Before we are too hard on him, let's think about his mindset. He had been in the wilderness for decades. He had only known one set of clothing, one pair of sandals. The goodly Babylonish garment was quite the temptation. Imagine having to wear one tattered outfit everyday and then getting the chance to snag an Armani suit!
And then he laid eyes on the gold and silver, multiplied thousand of dollars worth of it. Everyone was about to get a new start in the promised land. He must have considered how he could set up shop with a nice home, a good business and some influence being this flush with cash. After all, the wilderness was nothing but deprivation for him and his family.
And so, he saw, he was tempted, he took, he sinned, and he died.
We gotta confess, most have justified a lot of bad behavior in their lives. We have felt cheated, denied, deprived. We've been tempted to bend truth, enrich our coffers in less than ethical ways, cover up sin, get ahead by harming others, and lust after loot.
For these selfish sins, Christ gave Himself. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.
Because of our guilt, we deserve to be dragged to Achor's valley, stoned with stones and have a heap of rocks piled upon us. But Jesus' life was forfeited so we could go free to enjoy the Promised Land by the righteousness of our Savior.
Sin destroys. Jesus heals.