Three Steps Down
I can think of only a couple of occasions in my four decades of ministry when someone has voluntarily come forward and said they had done something wrong. People usually come forward and admit their wrongdoing only when they are caught.
That was the case with Achan. There was sin in the Israelites’ camp, and it had been committed by him. God had given strict instructions when they attacked Jericho that "everything made from silver, gold, bronze, or iron is sacred to the Lord and must be brought into his treasury" (Joshua 6:19). Achan took some of those things and kept them for himself, and God was fully aware of it.
It was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Achan was the culprit, the reason for Israel’s defeat at Ai. When he eventually came clean, Achan said, "Among the plunder I saw a beautiful robe from Babylon, 200 silver coins, and a bar of gold weighing more than a pound. I wanted them so much that I took them. They are hidden in the ground beneath my tent, with the silver buried deeper than the rest" (Joshua 7:21, emphasis added).
That sums it up: I saw . . . I wanted . . . I took. This is how most sins happen. First Achan saw. It isn’t the first look that gets us into trouble; it is always the second one. Then Achan wanted, or coveted, what he saw. Coveting is a greedy desire to have something, no matter what it costs you or anyone else. And lastly, Achan took action.
The Bible says, "Your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). It found Achan out, and it will find us out as well. It is not a matter of if; it is only a matter of when.