Because they were accursed - From this verse it appears that the nature of the execration or anathema was such, that those who took of the thing doomed to destruction fell immediately under the same condemnation. The inhabitants of Jericho and all that they had were accursed: therefore they and all their substance were to be destroyed. The Israelites took of the accursed thing, and therefore became accursed with it. This was certainly understood when the curse was pronounced: Every man who touches this property shall be involved in the same execration. Achan therefore was sufficiently aware of the risk he ran in taking any part of the anathematized thing; and when viewed in this light, the punishment inflicted on him will appear to be perfectly just and proper.
Accursed - Compare Joshua 6:17-18.
The words of God to Joshua are: “Neither will I be with you anymore, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against tomorrow: for thus saith the Lord God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” These things are written for our benefit, upon whom the ends of the world are come. TM 428.1
I have no real ground of hope for those who have stood as shepherds to the flock, and have for years been borne with by the merciful God, following them with reproof, with warnings, with entreaties, but who have hid their evil ways, and continued in them, thus defying the laws of the God of heaven by practicing fornication. We may leave them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, after all has been done to reform them; but in no case entrust to them the guardianship of souls. False shepherds! Oh, can it be that the men who have been engaged in this work for a long time will corrupt their ways before the Lord after great experience and special light? TM 428.2
He that is to come says, “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Every good deed done by the people of God as the fruit of their faith, will have its corresponding reward. As one star differeth from another star in glory, so will believers have their different spheres assigned them in the future life. Will the man who did not walk with God as did Enoch, but who walked by the side of Satan, listening to his suggestions, obeying his promptings, imperiling his own soul and souls for whom Christ died, to gratify the carnal mind, giving lenity to sin in his example—will such a man be found among the overcomers? TM 428.3Read in context »
Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time? Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin? Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong? No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval. They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons. Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done” in the church. Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying. Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. 3T 267.1
But the general slaughter of all those who do not thus see the wide contrast between sin and righteousness, and do not feel as those do who stand in the counsel of God and receive the mark, is described in the order to the five men with slaughter weapons: “Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” 3T 267.2
In the case of Achan's sin God said to Joshua: “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” How does this instance compare with the course pursued by those who will not raise their voice against sin and wrong, but whose sympathies are ever found with those who trouble the camp of Israel with their sins? Said God to Joshua: “Thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you.” He pronounced the punishment which would follow the transgression of His covenant. 3T 267.3Read in context »
(Ch. 12:30; Luke 11:23.) Living for Self Dishonors Redeemer—Christians who live for self dishonor their Redeemer. They may apparently be very active in the service of the Lord, but they weave self into all that they do. Sowing the seeds of selfishness, they must at last reap a harvest of corruption.... Service for self takes a variety of forms. Some of these forms seem harmless. Apparent goodness gives them the appearance of genuine goodness. But they bring no glory to the Lord. By their service His cause is hindered. Christ says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” 5BC 1096.1
Those who bring self into their work cannot be trusted. If they would lose sight of self in Christ, their efforts would be of value to His cause. They would then conform the life to His teachings. They would form their plans in harmony with His great plan of love. Selfishness would be banished from their efforts.... Self-denial, humility of mind, nobility of purpose, marked the Saviour's life ... [Matthew 16:24 quoted] (Manuscript 2, 1903). 5BC 1096.2Read in context »