And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
It seemed like such a minor thing, really. It seemed like something Achan might be able to get away with, because who would ever know about it? It seemed harmless in many ways to take some spoil even though he wasn’t supposed to. But now what good was it to have these things hidden in his tent? How did it benefit his family for him to have these riches? It was covetousness in his heart that drew him to sin, a desire for something for himself that he wasn’t supposed to have. God could have enriched his life in so many better ways if he would have obeyed, but instead, he and all he had would be destroyed.
We can fall into the same trap. Sin is deceptive. At first it might not seem like a big deal. It may seem so harmless. We might think no one will ever find out. But God knows, and we will eventually have to answer for it. And it may end up hurting others, too, especially those closest to us. And in the end, we’ll find out that whatever that sin was, it wasn’t worth it, and we’ll never know what we missed out on because of it.
Sin also makes us selfish. It usually makes us do things without considering anyone but ourselves. And when we get so fixated on things and so focused on ourselves, we can’t foresee any of the negative consequences that may follow. A lot of times it’s something that seemed okay in the moment, but later comes the regret, and that regret often comes even if we don’t get caught.
Sin doesn’t just hurt us. Often it damages our relationships with others, and it always damages our relationship with God. May we be on guard against the subtle ways that sin can creep in. May we be aware of our own weaknesses and those places where we can easily go astray. Let us be mindful that God sees and knows all, and we’re never really going to get away with anything. Instead may we carefully consider the actions we take and the consequences that might follow.