Have you ever heard the saying, "The choices we make today affect tomorrow?" We find ourselves knee-deep in that story with a man named Achan, in the book of Joshua chapter 8.
The Israelites had taken the city of Jericho, but they were instructed to keep nothing for themsleves. Only silver, gold, articles of bronze and iron were to be taken and put in to the treasury of the Lord. But the Israelites disobeyed and that disobedience caused God to not fight for them when they came to take the city of Ai. They were chased away and some of them died.
Confused and sad, Joshua didn't understand how they lost the battle. God said to Joshua that Israel had sinned and taken things they weren't supposed to and that is why He could not fight for them. Joshua called the tribes one by one to come to him and Achan, of the tribe of Judah, confessed his sin. He confessed that he had taken a beautiful cloak, some pieces of silver and a bar of gold and then buried them. So the people of Israel killed Achan and his family. Achan's choices on the day of deafting Jericho not only effected the outcome of his tomorrow, but his families and the people of Israel. His choices cost the people of Israel to lose the battle for Ai and it cost him and his families lives.
This is a tough story to tell kids. The death of Achan and his family seems extreme and difficult to try to explain. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Because we sin, we deserve to die as well, but Jesus came in our place. When we confess our sin and trust in Jesus, He will forgive us and we will be saved from death.
God takes sin seriously, yet, He also offers us forgiveness and life with Him eternally through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Talk with your kids about how when we trust in Jesus, we are forgiven for our bad choices and saved from spiritual death. God loves us, even when we make wrong choices, and He sent Jesus because He loves us.
Next week: Jesus' Trumphal Entry