"Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the LORD God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.'” -Joshua 7:13

Achan’s lust for treasure had brought disaster to Israel’s pursuit in possessing the Promised Land. Therefore, the LORD said, “You cannot stand before your enemies.” Here, the sin of one man temporarily brought a halt to the progress of an entire nation. The hideous power of sin to corrupt God’s people and to stall His purpose among them is clearly illustrated in this passage.

Yet, Romans 5:17 triumphantly reminds us, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” The power of one man’s sin—Adam’s, Achan’s, yours or mine—is completely broken through the righteousness of God’s only Son.

Whenever we feel disqualified or disabled through sin, there is grace for those who repent, forgiveness for those who respond in faith, and a future of redeemed promise for those who will humble themselves to receive it.