Achan's Sin

To Remember: God knows even when others don't

steal: to take (or keep) something that we have no right to

Joshua 7"After their victory at Jericho, the Israelites thought the rest of their battles would be easy. Joshua could see that God was helping them and knew with His help no enemy could stand before them. Therefore, when they went up to the next town of Ai, Joshua sent only 3,000 soldiers..."
Read the Full Lesson Text
Craft: Build a tent from paper or from large pieces of fabric (string fabric over a tight line). Discuss how the Israelites lived in tents

Object Lesson:
Before a game or activity, promise to give each student five pennies if they complete a simple task. When they are done, give them each 4 instead. When they ask about the fifth one, ask them if they think it was fair to keep back a small part of what was promised. Then discuss how Achan kept only a small part of the spoils, but it still was not right. Then apply the same principle to sins such as lying, cheating, breaking civil laws, etc.

Israelite soldiers and Achan's family members died because of Achan's sin. Discuss how the sin of others affects us daily. e.g. Drunk drivers kill innocent people. Achan's sin resulted in the death of many Israelite soldiers, and could in some ways be considered treason. This is an example of how sin tends to spread and affect others.

Discussion Point:
What is stealing? Is it just taking things? Is it only stealing if you wear a ski mask and use a weapon? God said Achan stole from him. Joshua 7:11 All the Israelites took spoil from Jericho - but all the others obeyed God's command to turn over all the riches to the temple, because it all belonged to God. Achan kept what he was told to give back to God - and that is stealing. We must not only be careful not to take what belongs to our neighbors, but we must also be sure to give to God what he deserves and give to our neighbors as we are commanded. Otherwise we are thieves. Who does God command us to give to? our family, those we meet in need, the work of the church.

Memory Work: Joshua 7:11
"Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put {them} among their own things."
Have students write down or answer the following in reference to the verse above:
is God accusing?
What are they guilty of?
Who have they sinned against?
Where are the accursed things?
Why is God angry?
“… One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15

to the tune of "Jesus loves me"Achan took a wedge of gold,
Silver and a robe we're told
Buried them inside his tent
About his business then he went.

Jehovah noticed
Jehovah noticed
Jehovah noticed
That Achan stole the gold.

When we steal or disobey,
Lie or fight or fail to pray,
Someone knows just what we do,
where we are, and why, too.

Jehovah noticed
Jehovah noticed
Jehovah noticed
He sees all that we do.

True or False
  1. God won't notice a small sin.     F
  2. Achan's sin didn't hurt anyone but himself.    F
  3. Achan stole gold, silver and a beautiful garment.   T
  4. Achan's entire family died.   T
  5. All of Israel learned a lesson.   T
Review Questions for gameboard

linguistic questions

  1. What does it mean to steal? to take (or keep) something that is not rightfully yours.
  2. Name the tribes of Israel.
  3. Unscramble this name:    hajuso  (Joshua)

activity questions

  1. Draw a tent.
  2. Try to find a place to hide in this room.
  3. Find Ai on a map.

 emotion questions

  1. How do you think Achan felt as Joshua got closer and closer to his family? scared
  2. How do you think Israel felt when Ai defeated them? astonished, scared
  3. How do you think God felt when Achan stole from Him? angry

 application questions

  1. Can we hide anything from God? no
  2. Who else can our disobedience hurt? our friends and family, our church, strangers
  3. How can we try to help others remain obedient? encourage others to do what is right, not belittle those who obey.

fact questions

  1. What did Achan hide? some gold, silver, and a beautiful garment (Joshua 7:21)
  2. How did Joshua know who had stolen from God? God revealed the family from the patriarch down to Achan
  3. Who died as a result? Achan, his family, his animals and Israelite soldiers.

review questions

  1. What two sins did God charge Achan with? stealing and deceiving
  2. Did God expect obedience from a) all of Israel, b) some of Israel, or c) a few people? a-all of Israel
  3. How much did Achan have to steal for God to notice? just a little