Achar, the troubler of Israel.
I. WHAT MADE ACHAN A TROUBLER OF ISRAEL? Sin. All trouble may be traced to this. It led Achan to commit the threefold crime of disobedience, defiance of God's scrutiny, and sacrilege. His one sin brought trouble into all the camp. This is all the mere remarkable when you remember how insignificant his position was among the tribes. We die all alone, but we cannot all sin alone. Even our secret sins are public calamities, and no transgression is without its malign influence upon the common weal.
II. THE TROUBLES ACHAN BROUGHT UPON HIS PEOPLE.
1. Defeat before a less powerful foe.
2. Depression of spirit, which unremedied, would he fatal to the very existence of the nation.
3. Anger from God, which would not be appeased even by the intercession of Joshua.
4. The threat of abandonment by God if they did not root out the evil from among them.
Christian Age.Why was the punishment of Achan so severe?
1. His was a terrible sin; it was a wilful disobedience; it was high treason against God; it was sacrilege; it was stealing, lying, coveting, and practically murder.
2. This sin struck at the very life of the nation. If the people could disobey God with impunity, the nation would soon be ruined, and the hope of the world be put out.
3. The course Achan took would have degraded God in the eyes of Israel and of the Gentiles. The people and cities of Canaan were rich; the Israelites were poor. Canaan had the resources of a somewhat high civilisation — gold, silver, vessels of brass and of iron; goodly Babyionish garments. Now, suppose the Lord had given them free license to plunder, to steal and hide, and appropriate all they could lay hands on? This movement for the conquest of Canaan would have become a savage, plundering, marauding expedition.
4. These fascinating spoils — these glittering prizes of gold and silver, and these ornaments of the cultured Canaanites — were linked in on every hand with idolatry. Art and wealth in Canaan, as in every other heathen nation, lent their power to augment the attractions towards idol-worship.
5. But another consideration must have great weight. The Israelites had before them the task of conquering Palestine, a task which required the utmost discipline in the army. God was the Captain, directing, through Joshua, all the campaign. It was absolutely necessary, in the interests of military discipline, to check the first buddings of that cupidity which so often characterised ancient warfare.
Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters.
(J. Parker, D. D.)
(Leo H. Grindon.)
And the families of the Scribes which dwelt at Jabez: —
I. A NOBLE CALLING. To study and expound sacred books, inform society, and spread the will of God.
II. A FAMILY CALLING. "The families of the scribes." mere ditary pursuits in all communities.
III. A NEEDFUL CALLING. A literary profession useful to society. A learned ministry the want of the times.