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You Can’t Bury Your Sins, Or Your Sins Will Bury You!

You Can't Bury Your Sins, Or Your Sins Will Bury You! (Sermon)

Scripture: Joshua 7:16 / 18-22 / 24-25

16 Early the next morning Joshua had Israel come forward by tribes, and Judah was chosen. 18 Joshua had his family come forward man by man, and Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen.

19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and honor him. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia,[a] two hundred shekels[b] of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels,[c] I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.

24 Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achan. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”

Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them.


The book of Joshua is the continued story of the exodus out of Egypt, and the Israelites conquering of the Promised Land, better known as the ‘Land of Milk and Honey.’ The book is thought to have been written by Joshua until his passing when it is believed to have been finished by an unknown author.[1] The book can be simplified into three sections; 1) the conquering of the Promised Land, 2) the distribution of the land amongst the 12 tribes, and 3) Joshua’s farewell speech.

God spoke to Moses; choosing Joshua, whose name was changed from Hoshea; meaning “salvation” or “he saves,” to Joshua; meaning “The Lord saves.” (Num 13:16). Joshua had been part of Moses ministry since a child and was ready for the position of leadership (Num 11:28). So, Joshua was chosen to be the successor to Moses and bring the Nation of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua was strict about Gods Law and demanded the tribe to be obedient to it and the Nation as a whole.

However, chapter 7 talks about a man named Achan, and the effect his sin had on his family and the nation. The bible does not give much background on Achan, expect that he was a soldier in Joshua’s army. God clearly tells Joshua in 6:18, that all things in Jericho were to be destroyed, or Israel would be destroyed. And right after that we see in chapter 7:1, “But the people of Israel broke faith in regard to the devoted things…” The word devoted was translated into English from the Hebrew word Charam, which is said to mean something like “put under the ban” or “devote to destruction.”[2] God already warned Israel what would happen, and Joshua warned the men of Israel to take nothing for themselves, that everything was to be offered as a sacrifice to God. But how many of us don’t always listen or follow even the simplest instructions? How many times have you decided what you were going to do, regardless of what anyone said or thought?

This brings me to my first point, Sin. This is about a man who couldn’t follow orders, he wanted to do what he wanted to do and didn’t care about the effect it would have on anyone. If he is like some people today, he never even considered anyone outside of himself. We can be such a narcissistic people when we want to; to the point where we don’t even see how what we are doing is affecting the people around us. Gods Laws were not kept secret from the Jews, and they knew the laws given to Moses. According to the bible these laws were read out loud to the people every 7 years (Deuteronomy 31:11), so God made certain his people understood the suffering for a sin committed against the nation. It’s written in the 8th commandment. Additionally, God considered Israel one nation, which meant everyone was accountable as a group. If one stole; they all got in trouble for stealing. The only way to remove the curse was to destroy the sin, the sinner and all their belongings (Joshua 7:12). Joshua had to remove the ban that Israel was put under due to Achan’s actions. Achan’s tribe became the sacrifice to God for the removal of the sin (Hebrews 9:22).

Previously, there was a scandal uncovered about a USA Olympic Gymnastic doctor. This man molested over 250 young people, for over 25 years, dating back to 1992. Just a about 4 years ago, he was sentenced to 60 years for pornography; an additional 40-75 years for 7 counts of sexual assault, and they added an additional 40-125 years in prison for an additional 3 counts of sexual assault. If you total the very least of the years he has received, it adds up to 140 years in prison! Those poor children will be dealing with therapy and medication to manage their mental health all because of one man’s selfish act. Achan, didn’t just steal from Israel’s victory of Ai, but he committed the ultimate sin, he stole from God! We know no one is without sin, but it is sin that separates us from God, so we must present ourselves openly, honestly, sincerely and repent for your sins. If you don’t, you bring disaster, and adversity onto yourself and those around you. 1 John 1:8, says, if we claim we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. What we must say is simple, “Forgive me father for I have sinned.”

This brings me to my second point, The Curse. What is sin? Sin is not just a specific action, but a whole nature, and system that came into the World due to the curse brought onto us through the actions of earlier times. Sin is not “our fault,” but it is our nature. We are born sinners; therefore, we must turn to God for strength. There is no need to try and hide your sin. God sees it! Achan hid his stolen items under his tent, as though God didn’t see the initial sin. God gave Adam and Eve one instruction, do not eat from this tree, and they failed. They wanted more than what God wanted them to have at the time. Maybe had they waited God would have given them more, just like he did the nation of Israel, once Achan and his family were stoned. The bible says God allowed the Israelites to keep the plunger when they went to conquer Ai. Had Achan waiting he wouldn’t have had to steal anything. But he was impatient and selfish. How many of us are impatient? I know I can be sometimes. Sometimes I get caught up into the millennium moment and I want it right now. When I’m standing in line at a fast food restaurant I’m not trying to stand there for 5-10 minutes, I want my food fast, that’s why it’s called fast food. I wanna get it and I wanna go. But we all need to learn how to wait on God. Sometimes we bring curses into our own lives. Have you ever been with someone just to realize…I’m not supposed to be with you, an uneven yolk. Have you taken a job, or have a job, that looked really good on paper and then you start working that thing and your health starts deteriorating, and you find that you’re tired, or short with folks…curse! You took something you weren’t supposed to have, just like Achan.

God has declared the payment for sin is death, and so blood must be shed to cover sin. Death was Gods just consequences for sin (Romans 6:23). So even though Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin by covering themselves with fig leaves, God covered their sins with an animal He sacrificed (Gen 3:21). The Old Testament is full of temporary sacrifices.

This leads me to my final point, The Cure - Jesus is the antidote. Aren’t you glad Jesus came to reverse the curse? During the Old Testament God required a sacrifice for a sin, until he sent the ultimate sacrifice for humankind, a permanent fix; a humble savior named Yeshua (Hebrews 10:4). We’re all sinner’s right, so the only way we could be saved was for there to be a human without sin, right? So, what did God do? Catch this, God, Himself, came to us, met us where we were, walked amongst us, taught us, feed us, loved on us, cared for us, prayed for us, just so He could free us from our own sinful behavior. Somebody ought to thank God right now! God planned our future from the beginning. He gave Adam and Eve a temporary fix, he gave Israel a temporary fix, but he gave us Jesus! The bible tells us, “…if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” To confess is to admit guilt, but once you have confessed your sins and have asked for forgiveness…it’s done. That’s it. Some people believe you have to ask for forgiveness every time you sin, but I believe your confession means you are forgiven. There is no need to keep asking for forgiveness. If half of us were honest with ourselves, we would be asking for forgiveness all day long! No, God sent his sacrifice. All he wants now is your praise, your worship, and appreciation for the covering. When you truly worship you are able to connect with God. We no longer have to live in fear, the blood has sealed it.

When we confess our sins, we begin a healing process. Was Achan forced to admit to his sin? The bible doesn’t make that clear or not, but what it does tell us is he never said anything until he was asked. Like Achan we may think our sin will not be uncovered, even by God, but we need to remember that nothing can be hidden from God and the guilt of your sins still stands until you accept Jesus into your lives, repent of your sins, and thank him for the blood, because he didn’t have to do it. Stop holding yourself back and step out and away from sinful behavior because you can’t bury your sin, but your sins can bury you!

Written by Minister Taborah Adams

Bibliography [1] Dunn, Franklin Jerome. Know your Bible. Bedford, TX: Firm Foundation Pub. Co., 1997. [2] "Devoted to Destruction." The Hebrew Word "to devote to destruction". Accessed February 28, 2018.


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