“Get up! Command the people to purify themselves in preparation for tomorrow. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Hidden among you, O Israel, are things set apart for the LORD. You will never defeat your enemies until you remove these things from among you.” -Joshua 7:13

Years ago, I was talking with someone who said this, “Linda, I know I’m going to Hell. What is the point of me serving God when I want to do what I want to do? If I serve God, then I can’t do what I want.” I sat there in complete silence. “I know I’m going to Hell…If I serve God, then I can’t do what I want.” What could I have said? We had already talked about heaven and hell. We had already talked about what the Bible had to say about life of sin the person was in. Yet there was that statement, “If I serve God, then I can’t do what I want.” I left the person’s house that day shaking my head. There was nothing more I could say. The person chose misery over living for God. The person chose death and destruction over eternal life. That person to this day, years later, is still locked in a life of sin, believing their sin is okay in the eyes of God.

Sin of any kind is detestable in the eyes of God. Like the Israelites, until sin is removed from our life, we will be defeated. We cannot be steeped in sin and expect God to work on our behalf to give us victory.

The Lord had given a command to Joshua just before they went in to conquer Jericho, “Do not take any of the things set apart for destruction, or you yourselves will be completely destroyed, and you will bring trouble on the camp of Israel. Everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury,” (Joshua 6:18-19). Achan, however, decided to disobey the command the LORD gave through Joshua. In chapter 7, the Israelites went to conquer the city of Ai and got defeated because sin was found in the camp. Achan had the things devoted for destruction including things that were to be brought into the Lord’s treasury. He hid them under his tent. His sin didn’t just affect him. The results of his sin cost the Israelites victory in conquering the city of Ai. Joshua and the elders fell on their face before God because they were defeated at the battle of Ai. That is when God said this, “Get up! Why are you lying on your face like this? 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. That is why the Israe