A text by Richard Wurmbrand
Written in the “The Valley of Achor” series

And Joshua said unto Achan, 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. (Joshua 7:19)

We give glory to God when we confess our sins clearly and distinctly, usually to God alone. However it often is very helpful to share our concerns with devout Christians who will pray with us without gossiping about what has been confessed to them. It is wise not to cross gender lines when doing this. More than one marriage has been broken up because the husband was caught up in the emotional problems of some other woman and decided to help her out by divorcing his own wife and marrying the distraught person. Except in the case of husband and wife, men should confess their needs to men and women to women.

And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: (Joshua 7:20)

Clear confession is a necessity if we are to obtain moral deliverance. Achan did not blame anyone else as Adam and Eve did. Achan, the “troubler of Israel,” declared that he had sinned against the Lord God of Israel by taking items that had been banned by the Lord.

Often the principal idols of our personality are hidden. We need discernment in order to find the seat of Satan.

So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. (Joshua 7:22)

Once clear, specific confession has been made regarding our actions, the things we have done, we then are able to locate the hidden agencies that are influencing our conduct—the messengers of Satan that are finding open doors in our personality.

The problem and its root must be “laid out before the Lord.”

And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. (Joshua 7:23)

Sometimes our sins are revealed before our death. In other instances they pass with us into the spirit realm at our death.

Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. (I Timothy 5:24)

It is dreadfully embarrassing to have everyone know of what has been concealed in our personality. Better this than to die with it still hidden! The Apostle Paul commanded Timothy to rebuke sinners publicly so that others would fear to commit the same sin. We certainly need a great deal of forbearance and wisdom before we recite anyone’s sins openly. But there are occasions when this may be best for the individual and the assembly. However, such an action should never be taken without prolonged consideration by the elders of the assembly and every other means of remedy has been exhausted.

After the sin has been confessed we are to take it to the “Valley of Achor.” The Valley of Achor is the place of “troubling.” All of the foods offered to idols trouble us, preventing God from finding rest in us and we from finding rest in God.

We are to take the sin and all that is associated with it in our mind, our mouth, and our actions, to the place of judgment. If we do not, if we leave one tiny trace of our idolatry, it will grow into a powerful force that will finally cause us to lose our crown. God wants the sin removed from us totally.

Notice that not only Achan, the sinner, was brought to judgment but also his entire family and all their possessions. When we sin we affect not only ourselves but our loved ones as well. If we yield to a spirit of adultery, or lying, or stealing, the spirit of the sin often will enter other members of the family, especially children and they will lie and steal, and commit adultery when they are grown.

And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. (Joshua 7:24)

What takes place in the Valley of Troubling? Israel puts the sin to death and then burns it with the fire of God.

And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the Lord shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. (Joshua 7:25)

Richard Wurmbrand