Individual Sin has a Communal Cost
During Lent, as the church community spends time reflecting and repentingtogether, we examine the effect of sin on our community. Are we willingto confront and rid our community of sinful behavior? Or will we chooseto be silent and all pay the price?
From an Africa Study Bible proverbs and stories note:
One man chose to sin. That sin caused the defeat of Israel’s army and brought disaster on his whole people. The reason Israel could not defeat the small city of Ai was not that they lacked the military might or expertise; it was because of sin. Achan took for himself a beautiful robe and some silver and gold from Jericho and buried them in the ground beneath his tent. He did this after God said such things should be kept “for the treasury of the Lord’s house” (Joshua 6:24).
A Bakongo proverb says Nguba bola yitwadikisanga za mbote, meaning “When you have a rotten peanut in your mouth, you spit it out with the good ones.” A little evil destroys many good achievements. Sin is never so small that it will not cause trouble, and the consequences of sin can be terrible. Achan’s sin caused the loss of many good men in Israel’s camp and the destruction of Achan’s whole family.
Do you have a friend or family member who is engaged in sin and crime? The consequence of their sinful choices could destroy your community. Today, prayerfully and lovingly confront them.
25 Joshua said, ‘Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.’ Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.
7 And Joshua said, ‘Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this person across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!
8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?
9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?’
10 The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Stand up! What are you doing down on your face?
11 Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.
12 That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.