I Saw, I Coveted, and I Took
“…when I saw among the spoil a beautiful mantle from Shinar and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold fifty shekels in weight, then I coveted them and took them…” (Joshua 7:21, NASB)
When Achan confessed his sin to Joshua, he gave this account. Though it is a tragic story, it is a great source of instruction for those who seek to endure temptation and avoid sin. Achan recounts three clear steps in his descent into sin.
First, he saw. This is temptation. Temptation’s first contact was subtle and innocent enough; a simple glance. Before sin demands our submission, temptation seeks our attention. And notice the description of what he saw. It was beautiful and valuable. The tempter knows the human heart well. He will be sure his lures sparkle in our eyes.
Second, he coveted. This is sin of the heart. Outward acts of sin are simply expressions of sin that is already rooted in the heart. Achan moved from noticing the forbidden spoil to desiring it. Our fallen hearts, like Achan's, are naturally drawn to that which God forbids. Satan holds the carrot before us, but it is our own heart that hungers for it. Without that hunger, Satan would have no success.
Finally, he took. This is transgression, an outward breaking of God's law. Achan acted upon the sin within his own heart.
The sad thing about Achan's story is that he was pulled in by silver and gold when he had the most beautiful, valuable One available to him. Be watchful today, dear Christian. Consider your seeing, coveting, and doing in regards to sin. The Lord is infinitely more valuable than any lure Satan can cast.
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