November 05, 2007

It All Happened in Jericho

Joshua 7:1, 19-26; Luke 19:1-9

"Today salvation has come to this house ... For the Son of man came to seek and to save ... "
Luke 19:9-10


Jericho was a city known for its wealth both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Sometimes people become rich simply because they are in the right place at the right time. But people don't always become rich in the right way.

Children, have you heard of Achan and Zacchaeus? They were both thieves. Achan thought he had a good reason for filling his pockets with the treasures of Jericho. He lived by the motto "To the winner belong the spoils." Achan disobeyed the orders God had given through Joshua. By comparison, Zacchaeus lined his pockets by a lifestyle of scheming and taking advantage of others as a tax collector. He could demand whatever tax he wanted and then keep some for himself.

Both men engaged in cover-ups. One hid the spoils of war in his tent; the other kept a lid on his extra cash. But when faced with God's Word, both were found out. As a sign of true repentance Zacchaeus prom­ised to repay four times what he had cheated from others.

What about you? Being rich is not wrong in itself. But if we pursue riches in ways that go against God's Word, we must quickly repent not just with words but also with concrete actions. Only then will we hear the wonderful words of the Savior: "Today, salvation has come to this house ... "

Lord God, bring salvation into our lives and families today by teaching us not only how to acquire goods but also how to share with others. May your name be praised. Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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