In my mind’s eye, I see him, Achan is his name.
His heart flutters in nervous excitement. He thinks, “I got away with it.” A smug grin spreads across his face. “Yes, I’m home free now.”
He hums a song as about 3,000 of his people go to overthrow a small city. “I’m rich. I just have to bide my time.”
Then it happens, his people are routed by a small town 36 of his people die. News spreads fast, people mutter questions. “Why would God who brought us out of Egypt into this land allow us to be routed?”
Joshua the leader of the Israelites prays the questions. God answers, “Someone in the camp has sinned so you were defeated. Tell the people to prepare themselves and in the morning I will show you who is at fault.”
I wonder why God waited a night. He knew Achan sinned against Him. Achan took plunder to make himself rich even though God explicitly told the Israelites they could take no plunder from Jericho.
What if during that night, Achan confessed His sin before God? Was this night Achan’s chance to receive mercy instead of wrath? We don’t know. The next day God calls out Achan and his family from among the throngs of Israelites. God punished Achan and his family fora Achan’s sin.
God’s mercy gave Achan a night. He still gives us chance to confess and do what is right. Opportunities to confess before the punishment comes. What will we do with the night? Will we repent or will we remained burdened by our sin?
I pray we use our “one night’s” for confession and repentance.