All Have Sinned . . .
and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
1. Joshua 6:15 – 8:29 Achan’s sin and the glory of God.
(Walk around a table 7 times, at the 6th time start telling the story). This is THE day. The day on which everything will happen. We have walked around this city in silence for six days. Now it is the 7th day and we are walking around the city 7 times. God told me that after the priests sound the trumpet, I have to order all the people to shout as loud as they can. Oh, listen, I hear the trumpets.
(Directed towards the children)
“Shout with me as loud as you can, here we go, one, two, three, shout!
The Lord had given us the city, Jericho was ours. However, I had to tell the people of Israel that there is something important to remember, it is a message from the Lord: “Everything in the city is for God, no one can take anything for himself.” You see, if anyone would take anything for himself they would get all the people in trouble. So all the silver and gold, all the beautiful clothes, everything nice our people would see, they were not allowed to take it for themselves. Everybody understood this and no one had a problem with it. After all we had won the battle and God gave us, the Israelite the promised land Israel. Jericho was just the first city. And because God has made everything, everything belonged to him.
As you know, when all the people shouted, God’s power and glory made the walls of Jericho fall down and all the people went straight in. Two of our spies, who checked out the city a few weeks ago rescued Rahab and her family, because she had saved the two spies. But every one else in the city died, because they did not belong to God’s people.
Now there were some people who didn’t listen to the important message that God had told them. There was a man and his name was Achan. When he got into the city and saw all the beautiful things, silver, gold and clothes, he thought to himself: “I can have a little bit for myself, there is so much, it doesn’t matter."
I didn’t know about this, but I found out later. At the moment Achan disobeyed God and did not do what he had to do, God got very angry with him and other people who disobeyed him.
As I told you before, Jericho was just the first city of the country of Israel that we had conquered. The next city, was a city called Ai. I made an army of two-three thousand people and sent them to Ai to conquer the city. I was sure we were going to win, because God was for us. But as soon as they got there, the people of Ai fought back, they killed many of our people. I was extremely sad, and didn’t understand it at all.
(Directed towards the children)
Do you have any idea why this happened, that God was with us?
I fell down on my knees and prayed: “O sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring us across the Jordan to deliver us into the ands of these people to destroy us? Other countries will hear of this and they will all kill us, and more than that, what will they say of you O God, they will say that you cannot save your own people and that you are not really God.”
But then God spoke to me. He said to me: “Stand up, what are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned, they disobeyed my words. They have taken some of the devoted things, they have stolen, they have lied. That is why Israel cannot stand against his enemies. I will not be with you, unless you destroy the people who disobeyed me. You have to tell the people that they need to make themselves ready tomorrow for God. In the morning you have to check all the people and find out who disobeyed God.
The next morning everybody came forward, one by one, until finally it was Achan’s turn. I told Achan: “Give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me, what have you done, do not hide it from me.” Then Achan said: “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, five pounds of silver, 3 pounds of gold, I wanted it so much. So I took it and hid it in the ground.
So, I sent some people to check it out and indeed it was all there in the ground. So I told Achan: “Why have you brought us in trouble.” It was because of Achan that we didn’t win and many people were killed”. This was so serious in God’s eyes, that we had to kill Achan and his family. This was a very sad day. But because everything was right now, God was not angry with us anymore.
Then God told me: “Do not be discouraged, do not be afraid. Take the whole army and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered them into your hands.” So we made an ambush, we set a trap. Five thousand people stayed behind, at a little distance from the city. The rest of the army went up and attacked the city. When the king of Ai saw this, he got his army and they pursued our Israelite army, but they didn’t know that we had set up an ambush. The whole army of Ai left the city, so the city was unprotected and then our five thousand men who had stayed behind, ran up to the city, set it on fire and conquered it. God was with them, and his power and glory made them win.
2. Application: Our sin and the glory of God.
How many of you have ever taken something, that wasn't yours to take? Candy, some money, something from the store? (ask children and ask them what it was?)
You did the same thing as Achan did in the Bible story. And what happened to Achan? He had to be killed. Don’t you think that is very serious? Imagine that your punishment for doing something wrong, would be that you had to be killed.
Why do you think Achan had to die? It was because of his disobedience. He did not listen and that is why he could not belong to God.
What is the Bible verse that we are memorizing today?
Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Let me try to explain that to you. Here I have six pieces of paper. Who can come here and make 3 sets of the papers that belong together? (have 6 papers with you in three different colors). Why do they belong together? (The color is the same.)
Now here is one piece of paper (show paper in circle shape), and three other pieces of paper (show three other circle shaped paper, but mark them one with dots, one with stripes and one blank). Which one of these three papers belongs to this one (the blank circle)? Why? Because the pattern on it is the same.
(Now have three white heart shaped papers). Now let’s imagine that this, a white heart shaped blank paper, is God. When God created the earth, he made people in his image. The people were like him. (show the other white heart shaped paper). But there is a problem with people, they find it very hard to obey. Let’s imagine that this other paper is you. Think back about today, or the last week and tell me something that you did wrong, a sin that you committed: unkind to brother or sister, didn’t want to listen to mom or dad, forgot to read the Bible, made fun of someone, hit
someone (for every sin they say, put a little cross on the circle with a black marker). Now look at what has happened with the circle, it is not the same anymore. It does not belong to this circle anymore. That is what happens with us. All of us have sinned and that is why we do not belong to God anymore. That is what it means that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That is why there is so much trouble in the world, because we sin. And like with Achan's sin, God is very angry with our sin and the punishment is death (with your hand crumple that heart that represents the children). But fortunately God loves us so much, that he found a solution. Instead of killing us for what we do wrong, for the sin we do, God punished one person. He punished his son and killed his own Son, so that we don’t have to be killed and can live. If we believe in Jesus Christ (the third white heart) he covers our dirty and crumpled heart, because he was punished and killed instead of us. (put Jesus white heart over the crumpled heart). Now when God looks at us, he only sees a perfect white heart and we don’t have to die, but belong to him forever.
Copyright 2000 Lydia Kim
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