Joshua 7:1, 4-5—But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water.
Everything in Jericho belonged to the LORD. He gave the victory, and as a sign of faith that the LORD would deliver the rest of their enemies into their hands, they were to give everything to God. One man, Achan, kept some of the spoils of war. He buried it under his tent. He must have thought that no one would ever know the difference. When Israel went to the next battle, they chose a small city named Ai. They sent just 3,000 soldiers, for they thought the size of the city would warrant no more than that. To their surprise, they were defeated and lost 36 men. Why? After such a miraculous victory over a much larger city, what went wrong? Joshua fell on his face and cried out to God. God told him to get up and deal with the sin of Israel. There is a principle here that relates to us today. Because God is holy, He does not bless hidden sin. He cannot overlook rebellion. Achan was just one man, but he held up the whole nation. His actions indirectly caused the death of those 36 men. God said Israel had sinned, when in fact it was one man. Until that sin was dealt with God would not bless their actions. The same can be true in our life. One area cannot slide by in rebellion and we still have the blessing of God. It is true for our families, for our churches, our cities, and our nation. We need to allow God to expose the sin so that we can forsake it, find forgiveness, and be blessed. 13He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13