Joshua 7:1-15

 Introduction: Let’s go back to the setting of this passage of scripture.  The children of Israel have ceased from their wilderness wanderings.  They have crossed through the Jordan River on dry ground during flood season.  Joshua is God’s established leader.  The Lord appointed him for this task of conquering the land of Canaan.    Joshua’s next task is the conquering of a great walled city named Jericho.  Jericho’s walls were so thick it is said that you could race three chariots side by side on the top of them.  But the Lord takes the weak and simple to overthrow the mighty and powerful.  He instructed them to march around the city one time a day for six days and then they were to march seven times around and the blow the trumpets and shout.  When they did what the Lord had bid, He blessed.  The walls fell flat and the children of Israel were able to conquer the city for the Lord.  But in the midst of their instructions came a warning and that they were not to take any spoils of war because the Lord cursed these items. (Joshua 1:18-19)

Beyond the city of Jericho was a small city called Ai.  Joshua felt that it was a piece of cake to conquer and sent a small force of three thousand men to conquer the city.  But the Lord allowed the men of Ai to defeat this force of men because there was SIN IN THE CAMP.  What sin is the question?  It was two-fold.  The first was covetousness and the second was disobedience to the clear command of God.  Achan had found a small fortune in gold, silver and a nice suit of clothes.  The silver was worth around $24,000 and the gold $96,000.

The Lord cannot use a group of people when there is SIN IN THE CAMP.  Joshua besought the Lord for the cause of this defeat.  What basically did the Lord tell him?  You have got SIN IN THE CAMP!!  He also basically told Joshua that defeat would continue until Joshua dealt with the problem.

Almost a year ago, you called me to be your pastor.  Some pretty phenomenal things happened.  God blessed us marvelously.  We have seen souls saved, the church growing, offering increasing and people changing.  One Sunday, I baptized ten precious souls.  But now, the baptismal pool is dusty.  It has been months since we have seen a soul walk the aisle, asking the Lord to save them.  Offerings are at an all time low since I have been here.  Attendance is low.  Morale is low.  For weeks I have been searching my own heart.  One conclusion I cannot escape is that we have SIN IN THE CAMP!  It is my desire for this church to grow and glow in the midst of our enemies.

It is my displeasure to preach a message such as this but I feel that the sooner the sin is exposed; the sooner God’s blessings will flow again.  I have taken the admonish of Paul to young Timothy to heart.


2nd Timothy 4:2

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove (show the people their wrong), rebuke (show them how wrong the wrong is), exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (Show them how to right the wrong)


I am going to name some sins that I have seen.  I will not call your name of course but I want to show you from some Biblical Characters, their sins and the results that these had on the children of Israel’s life.  We will be only looking at just two main points- 1) The sin, 2) The solutions.



Is your sin like:

  1. Achan- covetousness
  2. Its description
  3. Idolatry                                              Colossians 3:5
  4. Root of evil                                       1st Timothy 6:9-11
  5. Never satisfied                                  Habakkuk 2:9
  6. Vanity                                                Psalm 39:6
  7. Its dependants
  8. Theft                                                   Joshua 7:20-21
  9. Lying                                                  2nd Kings 5:20-27
  10. Murder                                               Proverbs 1:18-19
  11. Falsehoods                                        Acts 5:1-10
  12. Hurtful lust                                        1st Timothy 6:9
  13. Apostasy                                            1st Timothy 6:10
  14. Balaam- selling out the children of God for a price


  1. Cain- murder
  2. Murdering someone’s character
  3. Murdering someone’s excitement
  4. Murdering someone’s name
  5. Demas- loving the world                 2nd Timothy 4:10
  6. Loving the world’s music
  7. Loving the world’s money
  8. Loving the world’s motives
  9. Loving the world’s materialism
  10. Loving the world’s methods
  11. Loving the world’s might
  12. Loving the world’s mockeries

This world does not love you.               Why?

  1. It hated Christ first.                        John 15:18-20
  2. The world has enough phonies.     It really wants to see the genuine article.


  1.            Elijah- unfaithful when he ran from Jezebel.

He was unfaithful to his calling- a prophet of God.  I have seen much unfaithfulness in this church.

Hebrews 10:25

1st Corinthians 4:2

  1. Unfaithfulness to services
  2. Unfaithfulness to tasks such as church cleaning and work times
  3. Unfaithfulness to prayer meetings
  4. Unfaithfulness to offerings Malachi 3:8-10

Simplest of excuses keeps you from the house of God.


II. THE SOLUTION— Revelation 2:5

  1. Remember
  2. The Lord’s blessings
  3. The Lord’s bountifulness
  4. The Lord’s beseeching
  5. Repent 1st John 1:9                                                     James 5:16

Matthew 5:23-24

Matthew 6:14-15

  1. Repeat
  2. Get back to your place on the wall
  3. Get back to your Lord’s plan on the wall
  4. Get back to your purpose on the wall
  5. Get back to your preparation on the wall



Preached at Freedom Baptist Church

Smithfield, NC–December 1992