Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.
Once upon a time at our local golf course, we proceeded to a par four with an elevated green and my playing partner spotted a towel someone dropped behind the green. He walked over to the towel, picked it up and immediately threw it down. Evidently, someone in an earlier group had a bathroom emergency.
In the highlighted scripture above, God’s people were commanded by him to not allow any survivors and not to take any of the spoils during the destruction of Jericho. Everyone heeded the advice, except for one person out of the 3,000 involved. Achan admitted in Joshua 7:21, “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.” As a result, Achan’s disobedience placed guilt upon all of the children of Israel. In Hebrews 12:15, we too are warned, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;“.
People in our lives too often attempt to bring us into their own personal misery. This infection with symptoms of contention, pride, and idleness can originate from person to person contact or from posts on social media. Not only can we be affected by the malice and strife of others in our everyday relationships, but these feelings are especially harmful within the church body. Unless we are careful, it is all too easy for us to pick it up and take it with us. We must first determine the person’s motive by discerning the spirit which provoked the behavior or action. Many times the intention of the person is cloaked in a seemingly innocent motive. However, the hidden purpose is to defame, destroy or cause discord among the brethren. We can’t afford to be putting other people’s clubs in our bag. Our bag already has 14 clubs and it is hard enough for us to properly swing our own clubs!