ACHAN SYNDROME: Those who steal from the ‘system’.

I will use this short article to illustrate what Achan did in the Bible and relate it with what we do in our days, within our various places of work. 

In Joshua chapter 6, Joshua led the Israelites to conquer Jericho. God gave specific instructions about how to handle the spoils of war after they had gained victory. The spoils were supposed to be consecrated unto the Lord’s service (Joshua 6:19). 

However, it was later realized that someone had flouted the rule. Israel suffered a disgraceful defeat in the City of Ai because of this. Upon enquiries from the Lord, Achan was pointed out and rightly so, he confirmed that, out of covetousness, he had stolen and hidden some of the spoils of war that were accursed. 

Accursed Things 

“But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction [be accursed] by taking any of them. Otherwise, you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it” – Joshua 6:18.

An accursed thing is anything that does not belong to you or has been declared by an authority not to be in your ownership. Because the Lord declared the spoils of war in Jericho not to be taken by any Israelite, those items became accursed. Therefore, anything you take from your workplace or any space of activity that is not rightfully yours becomes an accursed thing unto you.

Accursed things in your life could be anything (money, properties, items) you are not supposed to spend or use on yourself or monies that belong to people. When you dishonestly take or use any of these, it becomes an accursed thing in your life. 

You bring trouble to yourself and yours when you take accursed things for yourself.

Milking the System

In our generation, people claim to be ‘smart’ by coveting and taking for themselves what is not theirs or due them. At our workplace, it could be allowances, funds meant for projects and others. Most civil and public servants are bent on outsmarting the ‘system’ to make money that is not due them. Corruption is becoming normal, and it’s dangerous!

Anything you take into your possession out of bribery or corruption to the detriment of its rightful owner(s) is an accursed thing. There are consequences to it. Some leaders and politicians impoverish the masses because of policies and decisions that favour them and theirs, out of selfishness, greed and wickedness that is overlooked. 

Hiding the Accursed

Achan hid the stolen items under the sand (Joshua 7:21), obviously hiding them from the people who knew it was wrong.  If it is the right thing to do, you would not have to hide it in the first place. The Achans in our days always work hard to hide their stolen money and possessions.  Ask yourself, why is it so difficult for most politicians, high-ranking officials and holders of positions of trust to declare their assets? I think it’s because they have hidden some accursed things ‘under the sand’.

“...every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other …The Lord Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief … and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones” – Zachariah 5:3b-4.

It seems to me that when you take accursed things into possession (when you steal), not only you, but your family (close relations) suffer for it. Achan ended up being killed alongside his family. 

I have many examples of how family members of people who took accursed things suffer undeservedly. Sometimes it may be a periodic illness that requires a lot of money and emotional stress. Other times, it’s sheer dissatisfaction in life or depression despite the availability of money. I’ll say money, dishonestly gained, does not buy happiness.

The Bible says “godliness with contentment is great gain”-1 Timothy 6:6. The only way to break off being selfish and greedy is to be content with your current possessions and work honestly towards improvement. The ‘system’ is designed to make you feel what you have is not enough or adequate. Don’t fall for it.

Related articleFilters.

For the love of money, many have pierced themselves with so many troubles and conditions such that they now find it difficult to come out.  Do not begin a lifestyle you’ll find difficult to maintain.  At your workplace and any space, always take what is due you; do not go chasing and scavenging for accursed things. Else, your life and those close to you may have to bear the consequences.  

The Lord wants to bless you. Live an honest life. Learn to be content. Live within your means. Stop scavenging for accursed things. You actually don’t need so much to be happy.

May the Lord mend our nets!

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