Monday, May 20, 2013

A New Covenant Response To
The Israelite Achan’s Disobedience

By Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry
  

Per the advice of a sister in Christ who had instructed me to destroy the idols and objects of sin in the lives of those whom I love in order to be delivered from what she perceived as demonic oppression due to my supposed permissiveness, but which I see as the cost of being a follower of Yahshua, I read the sad story of Achan in Joshua 7 to see what it would convict me of.

After reading this short but sad story, and praying about it as I pondered what it meant, I found that I gleaned much from it - but probably not in the way that my would-be helper anticipated. Even though it’s a straightforward story of the dire punishment awaiting those who disobey and betray God, it is also very much about repentance and forgiveness in the context of the New Covenant. Let me explain.

What I was confronted with when I read Joshua 7 was a deceitful man of Judah named Achan, who took some material goods from Israel’s Pagan enemies that represented everything that YHWH God hates: idolatry, insincerity, covetousness, pride, disobedience and greed. Since Achan didn’t have Yahshua our Advocate before God to represent him as his Redeemer and propitiatory sacrifice, and he didn’t show any signs of remorse or repentance, no mercy could be shown. As a result, Achan and his entire household had to pay the death penalty for his sins at the hands of the other Israelites, and so they were all forcefully rounded up, stoned to death, and burned with fire.

At I recoiled from the horror of the price Achan and everyone he loved had to pay for his sin, I found myself praising YHWH God for Yahshua Ha Mashiach, who paid the death penalty for our sins so that we don’t have to! If we are faithful to repent and confess our sins to Yahshua, His blood sacrifice allows us to receive divine mercy, forgiveness, protection, and love. In the meantime, per Yahshua’s own words, we are to: 
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.” - Luke 6:27-29
This means that it is no longer our job to destroy the idols or punish the sins of those we love, especially if this would cause them to reject us altogether due to their lack of understanding. Instead, it is our commission to lovingly continue to tell those in rebellion against God that they are worshiping idols and sinning, and that they will be divinely judged one day for this if they do not repent before God the Father, and accept Yahshua as their Savior. It is also our call to make sure that we do not bow down to the same idols or sin in the same way, and to make sure that we forgive others for their wrongdoing. Most importantly, we need to continually pray and ask our Father God to forgive those who transgress against Him, and to change their hearts - just as Yahshua does as our loving Mediator before God.

Remember, just before Yahshua died on the Cross for our sins - after being whipped, beaten and tortured even though He was innocent - our Beloved Redeemer looked up to Heaven and said: 
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing!” (Luke 23:34).
 At another, happier time, Yahshua also said: 
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44).
These statements are filled with the all-encompassing love that our Redeemer has for us, even though every one of us is unworthy of His love and sacrifice! Nonetheless, just as Yahshua did, we are being called to do likewise. No matter how many blows we have sustained for the cause of our Messiah, it should be our all-surpassing joy to turn the other cheek, to forgive and pray for our enemies, and to be as lambs being led to the slaughter for the sake of Yahshua and His Kingdom (Isaiah 53:7, Psalm 44:22, Romans 8:36).

As the Apostle Paul once so lovingly said to the believers in Thessalonica: 
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy!” (1 Thessalonians 2:19-20).
It should be our greatest desire to see everyone we minister to worthy of being in the presence of Yahshua at the time of the Rapture. To that end, as I drew nearer to God, His Spirit was showing me that the blood of Yahshua is a strong medicine that no curse can withstand. No matter how much my family and I fail, I need to remember that Yahshua can rescue and uphold us all with the power of His Name, His blood sacrifice, and His cloak of righteousness.

I was also shown that, just as Achan’s sin condemned his whole family to death, the righteous faith, prayers, and acts of one person can save an entire family, and help bring them to everlasting life (Acts 16:31). If I want to help save my family, the best way to do it is to live an exemplary life for Yahshua, to forgive their sins just as Yahshua is, and to continually pray for them, for the prayers of a righteous person avail much (James 5:16).

 ~********~**~********~

In the meantime, remember that Yahshua is coming SOON, 
and we need to be about His business when He arrives! ;-)

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