Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 138

No Sin Can Be Hidden From God, May 11

And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. Joshua 7:15.

The Lord did not specify who was the guilty party, but He gave directions as to what was to be done. He said, “In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the Lord taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the Lord shall take shall come ... man by man.”

In thus sifting the matter to the bottom, the Lord reveals the fact that He is acquainted with the hidden things of dishonesty, however people may think that they are hidden. In all the transaction, Achan manifested a determination not to acknowledge his sin; but now the Lord fastened his sin upon him. Had Joshua declared Achan's sin, many might have sympathized with the guilty one as he protested that he was innocent, and they might, in their human judgment, have thought he was misused and maltreated. It is thus that many do today when people are reproved for sin, for they drop God out of their reckoning. This is the reason that Joshua addressed Achan as he did. He said, “My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.”

The Lord had told Joshua just what Achan had done, but so many are led by human sympathy, and the wrongdoer is so often excused, that the Lord meant to give Israel a lesson that should also be of benefit to us in our day. Therefore Joshua entreated the young man to tell him what he had done....

Had punishment come upon Achan before he had with his own lips made confession of his wrong, the people, who were naturally ready to rebel, would have charged Joshua with dealing harshly with the young man, and would have denounced him as unmerciful in apportioning so dreadful a punishment....

Achan confessed, and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them ... and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” ...

“And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones.”—Letter 13, 1893 (The Youth's Instructor, January 25, 1894; The Youth's Instructor, February 1, 1894).

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