Day 100 – A Curious Take on the Death of Achan

Day 100! That sounds NICE and amazing! When I started, I couldn’t imagine how I would keep this up. But 100 days of focusing on Scripture each night has been a good thing. So I’ll be posting right up to Day 366 (Is that right? Leap year?)

A man died for his people in today’s reading, but this is an Old Testament story.

Joshua et al have just “fit the battle of Jericho”  and won. Actually, God brought the walls down with trumpet blasts – and Israel walked right in.

Next up: Ai. Only this time, Israel loses the battle and 36 men die.

Turns out that someone kept a few of Jericho’s goods that should have been destroyed. And Israel was punished as a consequence.

That someone was a guy named Achan. Achan didn’t exactly stand up and admit what he did, but a series of lots (or something similar) helped Joshua focus first on a tribe, then a family group, then a family. Until only Achan remained.

Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the LORD, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the LORD, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” Joshua 7: 19-21 NIV

[My New Geneva commentary points out that Achan’s sin followed the same path as the fall in Eden: Saw, Coveted, Took]

Joshua didn’t ask Achan to confess so that he would receive mercy, but so that Achan would give God honor and glory (and incidentally remove the punishment from Israel).

And Achan didn’t beg for mercy. He knew where his confession would lead: to death. On the other hand, Achan didn’t stubbornly confess, “Sure. I did it. Let’s get this over with.”

Knowing he would receive no mercy, Achan’s confession seems (to me at least) to be real – he knows he’s sinned and he’s remorseful – even as he faces death for self and family.

I don’t know, but Achan seems to have been rather courageous at the end. In fact, he did die for Israel, because the nation’s punishment was removed by his death.

And it also strikes me that Achan didn’t fear death: perhaps he had knowledge of eternity and rested on God’s mercy in the afterlife.

Who knows.

But I found it interesting that Achan confessed contritely and consequently died to save Israel.

Today’s Readings: Joshua 7:1-8:35, Psalm 43:1-5, Proverbs 13:22-23, Luke 9:37-62. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing.


3 thoughts on “Day 100 – A Curious Take on the Death of Achan

  1. I can’t believe we are already 100 days into this year. Time just flies by sometimes, doesn’t it?

    I’ve enjoyed these posts very much, and am looking forward to where they will take us as the year goes on. Not sure if you’re getting into more of a flow as it goes on, or if it’s just me — but they feel like they are getting better and better, and really speaking to my heart more and more lately.


    • Thanks again for your encouraging words, Chaotic. I do think the Word is seeping down into my soul in part due to this commitment. I find an increasing desire to share the Gospel. I still feel “blank” at times, but also have times where I know He’s at work. DH says the posts are getting better – he’s my best reader – it helps that I remind him every night! LOL.

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