How different to Achsah was her distant cousin Achan. Both were of the tribe of Judah, both were brought up in the wilderness, both crossed the Jordan and entered the land of Canaan, at the same time. Although only a young man, (his grandfather could not have been more than sixty), yet his heart was set, -not on the springs and valleys of Canaan, -but, on a goodly Babylonish garment, and a wedge of gold. (Joshua 7:2).
What a solemn warning is wrapped up in this first public sin of Israel! How strange that Babylon should be involved! It was the very city that in the end brought ruin and desolation to the land of Judah. The Babylonish garment was to wear. It would be much more stylish, I suppose, than the garments of Canaan: and he had been wearing wilderness garments all his life; garments handed down, probably, from his father and grandfather, those wonderful garments that waxed not old; even we ourselves do not always value things handed-down, be they ever so good, and Achan had no heart to value such clothes, he wanted Babylonish garments.
We will have occasion to refer again to these garments as we near the end of Israel’s dwelling in the land of Canaan. Strangely enough we will find that as Babylonish fashions brought the first downfall, so it was Babylonish fashions that had to do with the last terrible collapse of the Kingdom at the end. (Ezekiel 23:12-17; Zephaniah 1:8).
But there was not only the Babylonish garment, there was also the wedge of gold, and two hundred shekels of silver. And, sad to say, there is that in our hearts, there is that in the hearts of your children, that will turn to gold and silver to a Babylonish garment; a garment after the fashion of the world; and how terrible are some of the Babylonish garments we see today; may the Lord keep your darlings from ever coveting such as these.
There is something peculiarly searching to the heart of a Christian parent in the fact that in a list of 28 things in which a later Babylon trafficked, gold comes first, and the souls of men come last. (Revelation 18:12-13.) May we see to it, that the souls of our children come first, and let fold come last, in our reckoning and trafficking. What sort of examples are we setting to our children? Remember they read us like a book! Do they see that our hearts are set on the springs of Canaan, or on the garments of Babylon? In our traffic, our business, our occupation every day, do they see Gold, or Souls of Men, to head the list?
The fate of our children probably depends on the answer to these questions. Remember that Achan, and all his house, perished because of his covetousness. (Joshua 7:24.)
I suppose the very fact that Achan’s father and grandfather are so clearly pointed out, and identified with him in a sense, would give us a hint that the responsibility for his sin went back even to them.