Saturday, June 4, 2011

Lingering Consequences

Each week the Lord give us, it's been my privilege over the past year to equip the Sunday morning teachers at CrossPoint Baptist Church in the upcoming lesson. We typically offer one meeting on Wednesday at noon and one on Friday at 12:30. I've enjoyed our time together immensely and take seriously my responsibility as an elder to keep a close watch on the doctrine. Our passage for today was Joshua 9. As the chapter opens, a coalition of Canaanite kings is forming to make war on Israel and Joshua. The more I studied the passage, however, the more I found myself wondering if this coalition was a lingering consequence of Achan's sin back in Joshua 6-7. Here's what I mean: Prior to Achan’s sin, this is what is said of the kings of the Canaanites: “their hearts melted and there was no longer any spirit in them because of the people of Israel.” (5:1) But after Achan’s sin and Israel’s initial loss at Ai, this is what is said of the kings of the Canaanites: “they gathered together as one to fight against Joshua and Israel” (9:1) and “all these kings joined their forces and came and encamped together at the waters of Merom to fight with Israel” (11:5). My point is that prior to Achan’s sin, Israel experienced nothing but success and all of the Canaanites melted in fear. After Achan’s sin and Israel’s initial defeat at Ai, the Canaanite kings joined forces to fight Israel and Joshua. Though Achan was gone and his guilt removed from Israel, I believe there were still some lingering consequences to His sin, which chapter 9 captures in the opening 2 verses. Obviously, this led me to ask the question, "After I am gone, will my family and my faith community and my town have lingering consequences of my sin or lingering blessings because of my obedience?" Disobedience always has consequences some of which might linger long after we are gone.