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S C R I P T U R E - JOSH. 7:1                                          NOVEMBER, 1995



In reading the verses preceding this one, we find that the army of Israel, confronts an army of a country called, Ai. The army of Israel, has just come off of a victory over a more superior army than the one in Ai. Spies, that were sent out to see how they should prepare for battle, came back and said, 'it is not necessary for the whole army to go to battle, for their army is small. So Joshua, sent part of the army to battle the men of Ai. And the army of Ai, defeated the army of Israel, and chased them away, killing thirty-six of them.

When Joshua saw this, he was dismayed. After all, this was the army, not of Israel, but of God. And with Him (God) in control, not one soldier, was killed or wounded, in any of the previous battles that they had engaged in, not one. And these battles were against stronger nations. But, now, against an inferior force, they are sent packing. And Joshua, wants to know what's wrong. That's where the subject verse takes up. If you will notice, God tells Joshua, that Israel has sinned. He says 'they' (referring to the people of Israel), are guilty of sin, which causes God, to punish them, by letting them suffer death, and defeat. So, exactly what is it that Israel did, that warranted God's wrath? Verse 1, gives us the story. One man, went against what God said, and God punished the whole camp. Because of one man, thirty six people are dead, and the army of Israel is humiliated. So, why does God, punish the whole camp, and not just the one man? Because God, looks at the entire army, or camp, as being one body (so to speak), and therefore anything that goes on in any part of its realm of control, is going to cause either good or bad, to come on them. It's like, if you pick up a gun and kill someone, your whole body will be punished, not just the hand that pulled the trigger.

So, God ordered Joshua to take the man, his entire family, and everything that he owned, and destroy them all. And after He did this, then God, gave them the victory over the same army, that had just defeated them. So, what is the message here? It is this.

Here was a man, Achan, doing his own thing. Minding his own business. What business is it of anyone else, what he did, behind closed tent (doors)?? It was strictly his business, right?? Yet, look what happened. Others were made to suffer for what he did.

Now, let's look at how that lesson, applies today. Here we are in a nation, that allows us to have freedom to do whatever we want to do, as long as what we are doing, does not harm anyone else. People use drugs, consenting adults commit adultery and fornication, people gamble, study witchcraft, consult psychics, have abortions, and just run a total gambit of things, that God, calls sin. And these people, when confronted about their behavior, will usually respond with something like this, 'WHAT I DO, IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!' Well, that's the same mentality that got Israel in the mess they were in, battling Ai. Therefore, since we are supposed to be one body, under the same laws, governed by one man, President Clinton, then God looks at us, the same way He did Israel. And guess what?? We have to suffer, because of what others in our midst, think they are at liberty to do.

Today, our nation is in what I would call, near total disarray. Our economy is failing. More and more of our people, are jobless, and homeless. Crime is on the increase. All sorts of diseases are running rampant throughout our people. The medical profession is under attack. People are suing other people for the stupidest things, just to get a buck. Parents are abusing their own children, sometimes killing them. Children, likewise, are abusing and killing their parents. On and on, I could go, but you see the picture, right?? Why is all of this happening?? It is because this nation, willingly allows sin, to be a part of its way of life. In the case of Israel, the people didn't know what had happened, until God revealed it. With this nation, our policies, allow it to go on, right in front of everyone's eyes.

Look at all of the laws that have been passed, to protect behavior like homosexuali-ty, abortion, fornication, adultery, pornography, gambling, drunkenness, idolatry, and you name it. All of these, are clearly addressed in some way, in the Bible, but we don't care. You can turn on Sally Jessy, Montel, Geraldo, Ricki, Oprah, Jerry, Jenny, and other talk shows, and see an endless parade of characters, who are involved in some of the most disgusting things you can imagine, and people call this normal. One man, recently got killed, after appearing on a show, and surprising a friend, by telling him that he was in love with him. This is on national TV. The friend, ended up killing him. Lunacy!!! Yet, there are those that say, that the man that was killed, didn't have the problem, it was the man that killed him, that had the problem. Now, I am not supporting what the man did, but, the inference here, is that this is somehow normal behavior. If I, as a minister, stand up and call this mess what it is, SIN, I would be called a homophobe.

This nation, has lost it's conscience. Everything goes. If it feels good, do it. We have lost sight of right and wrong. We do these things, willingly. We say 'the heck with God.' Well, God, can play that game too. And, He will always win. 'BE NOT DECEIVED, GOD IS NOT MOCKED, WHATSOEVER A MAN SOWETH, THAT SHALL HE ALSO REAP' (GAL. 6:7). And that is where the problem comes in. Many times, the good have to suffer, because of what the wicked are doing.

We complain about how much money is taken out of our checks for taxes. Well, much of that money, goes to fund programs, that are put in place, to give money to those that have medical bills that they can't pay. And what is the medical condition that they have?? AIDS, from having unprotected sex, or using drugs. Lung cancer, from smoking cigarettes. Injuries sustained in an accident, while they were driving drunk. Welfare rolls are burgeoning, because of kids being born out of wedlock. God says, that if a man murders someone, he should be put to death. Yet many in this nation, view this as immoral, so we support the murderer in prison for the rest of his life, at a cost of $60,000 per year per prisoner. Sometimes, these individuals get out, and kill again, where, if they were put to death, many innocent lives, and much money would be saved. And think about this. God instituted capital punishment, and many people, including some so-called preachers, call it immoral. What they are doing then, is calling God immoral. And you think God is going to bless this type of mentality??? I don't think so!!!

The bible says, 'WOE UNTO THEM THAT CALL EVIL, GOOD, AND GOOD, EVIL' (ISA. 5:20). So here is why I say your business is my business. You do wrong. God punishes you (let's say financially). You react by going to government for help. they give you assistance. Then, they raise my taxes, to raise the money they are giving you. Do you see the connection here?? This is just a small microcosm, of the larger picture. We are all in the same boat. Some of us are patching up holes, while most, are making more. There is no such thing as a person doing their own thing, and not affecting the rest of society. If one person's sin, caused the death of all those men in the army, how many lives are affected by millions of people's sin??? That's what it's about. God, is not playing games, when it comes to sin, and you shouldn't either. Another thing, don't think you can remain neutral. Either you will be for something or against it. And as far as God is concerned, if you won't speak up against sin, then that means you are for it. It's time to take a stand folks. if you won't do it for yourself, do it for your kids, who may just reap, what you have sown.