"Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD." (Joshua 6:17-19)
“But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the LORD burned against the children of Israel.” (Joshua 7:1)
When I am studying the Word I use my Bible program to see what the words used actually mean.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
For instance, the term “is given by inspiration by God” in 2 Timothy 3:16 literally means “divinely breathed in by God”. This is one way that we know that the Bible is from God; it is literally breathed in by Him, or given by the Holy Spirit. My logic, therefore, in checking out specific words to see what they mean in the Hebrew or Greek is this: God has an excellent vocabulary and command of the language.
He specifically says what He means and means specifically what He says.
In Joshua 7:1 we see that someone named Achan has disobeyed God. Even his name is significant for “Achan” means “troublesome”.
The story of Jericho is important for us because our souls are like Jericho. They had all sorts of things in them before we were saved – then God stepped in. Our walls fell and suddenly our souls were available to the Lord.
Inside the walls of Jericho were 2 classes of things mentioned:
Things destined to be placed in the treasury of the Lord
Things destined to be destroyed – by fire.
Inside us were 2 classes of things:
Things the Lord would have in His treasury – our gifts, talents, abilities, families, joys, pasts, present, futures, our reputations – in other words…. our lives.
Things the Lord would destroy – habits that He hates, sinful practices, unforgiveness, hatred, grudges, fear.
Concerning that first class, consisting of things the Lord would have in His treasury: Jesus paid a high price for these things. He owns them – we do not.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
We must, in our hearts, turn our lives completely over to the Lord if we are to fully realize His purpose for us. The reason is simple: it’s all His and not ours.
In Christ, we are people of integrity – it is wrong for us to hold onto something that belongs to someone else. So, one thing we must do is surrender to the Lord what is rightfully His.
Concerning that second class, consisting of things the Lord would destroy: Jesus paid a high price for these things too. He owns them – we do not. Hebrews 12:29 says, “Our God is a consuming fire”. 1 Corinthians 3 speaks of “wood, hay and stubble” being consumed by fire.
The word “Lord” literally means “Owner” and it is the Owner’s right - Jesus’ - right, to do with us what He will. It is His will that we destroy the things in our lives that He would not have in His treasury.
We are people of purity and it is wrong for us to hold onto something on behalf of the Lord that the Lord wants to destroy. So, we must confess our sins, repent of them and receive the Lord’s forgiveness, reconcile differences with others and forgive those who have offended us. This is because the Lord would not have active, unrepentant sin, division and unforgiveness in His treasury.
The Bible says in Romans 6 and in Galatians 2:20 that we were crucified with Christ. So, it must be true. We were crucified with Christ. The Bible says that when He died…we died. So, it must be true. (The Spirit used the exact words He chose to use.)
Imagine that as you were baptized into Christ you held in one hand all the good things that Jesus would later want in His treasury and in the other, the things that He hates and died so that they could be destroyed. When a man dies, all his muscles relax. Imagine your hands, as you died in Christ, relaxing…and all those things we were carrying around…fell to the ground – at the base of the Cross.
Do you know what I have seen in many of us as I have ministered in counseling, prison ministry and in every other kind of ministry? After we are saved and rise to walk with Christ in the newness of life (Romans 6:4) we scuttle back to the foot of the cross and dig around in the piles of things that have fallen there out of our hands. We pick them up and like Achan we make them ours again.
What did “Achan” mean? Trouble. When we go to the foot of the Cross and pick up those things, good or bad, that now belong to Jesus and treat them as our own we bring trouble into our lives and into the lives of others.
Whatever we take from the foot of the Cross and bring into our lives – whether good or bad…. it belongs to the One who spent Himself for us. It’s not ours.
As we drag it into our work lives…. our families…our ministry - good or bad…. whatever it is it belongs to the One who spent Himself for us. It’s not ours. When we receive things into our lives that belong to God but we treat them as if they are our own, we drag trouble into our lives into the body of Christ.
Our task on this earth is too important for it to be burdened with that.
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)
We are ambassadors, representatives, of Christ. All things are of God and we are here to represent Him and a huge part of that is the recognition that we are a part of His treasury. Whenever He knocks down the walls, whatever is inside is His. We are His.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says that we are to:
“...lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Let’s do that. Let’s lay aside the weights (the things that belong in the Lord’s treasury, including our very selves) and the sin that so easily ensnares us (those things He would destroy) so that we can run with endurance this race that is set before us.
Let’s not just apply this to whatever seems to be staring us in the face. Let’s resolve to live this way throughout our lives. Let’s look full into the face of Jesus – the One who paid the price, who built us and will complete us.
He lives to give us grace.
Pastor Mike McInerney
Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.
© March 31, 2006
(For use with permission)