Judges, chapters 15-18

After that the Danites set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons became priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day that the inhabitants of the land went into exile.
~Judges 18:30

Moses’s grandson, Jonathan, descended from the most famous Levite, but Jehovah had installed Aaron’s descendants as those primarily responsible for carrying out the priesthood (Nu. 3:3,6,9,10).

On top of this, Jehovah had forbidden the use of idols in connection with his worship time and again (Ex. 20:4; De. 4:16; 5:8).

It was selfish of Jonathan to allow the man from Ephraim to install him as priest, leading his family in idol worship in exchange for money (Jud. 17:10).

His selfishness is magnified by his later betrayal of that family to go serve as priest before the tribe of Dan, collaborating with the Danites in their theft of various expensive idols (Jud. 18:18-20).

What can I learn from Jonathan’s attitude?
Even if I were to come from a family with a rich spiritual heritage or certain level of prominence, I should not assume my family’s reputation automatically makes me a spiritual person.
No one is exempt from following God’s explicit laws or practicing his principles, regardless of what their last name may be.
Each person is ultimately responsible for upholding strong Biblical values wholeheartedly on an individual basis (Ez. 18:30).

Joshua, chapters 6-8

“Israel took the livestock and the spoil of that city for themselves, according to the orders that Jehovah had given to Joshua.”
~Joshua 8:27

In God’s instructions regarding the siege of the previous city, Jericho, God had ordered Israel to devote everything to destruction.
Only precious metals were to be spared and offered into God’s tabernacle (Jos. 6:17-19).

It’s under these circumstances that the story of Achan and his household takes place.
Motivated by greed, they stole a garment and money, hiding it in their tent (Jos. 7:1, 21).
Consequently, when Israel initially attacked the neighboring city of Ai, Jehovah was not with Israel and they lost thirty-six men (Jos. 7:5, 11, 12).

It is curious that once the other Israelites removed the wrongdoers from among themselves, God proceeded to allow his warriors to partake in the spoil (Jos. 8:2).
But neither Achan nor his household saw any of it, for their sin was considered high treason and they were punished by death (Jos. 7:25).
Had they waited a few more days serving Jehovah faithfully, they would have rightfully had all the spoil they wanted.
Their impatience, however, coupled with their greed and blatant disregard for God’s explicit instructions, led Achan and his household to tragedy.

Despite enduring all the trials through the desert, Achan stands out as an example of stealing,  cheating, bad parenting and general deceit.

How sad it would be for us who serve God today to miss out on his promises because we put fleshly interests before our spiritual health.

To listen to an Audio Play about the first few days Israel experienced in the Promised Land, click here and select “Jehovah Delivers Those Calling Upon His name.”
Achan’s story begins 39 minutes into the play.