Tuesday, March 07, 2006
"I want the doll with the hair that grows, and the clothes that go with her, and new roller blades, and the phone that really talks, and perfume and new clothes . . .
. . . OH YEAH. . .
I want the car, and the studio, and the house for the doll,
and a new purse,
and . . . "
"WAIT A MINUTE!
You need to let me tell what I want!"
"I want a 12-speed bike, and a monster truck, and the talking space station and a ping-pong table, and a big trampoline, and a super-hero costume, and . . ."
HEY! You didn't let me finish. I want . . .
Oh my! It seems as if this could go on all day! This is the way it is in the James household. Every time a new catalog comes in the mail, the children gather around and pick and choose all the things they think they want.
What do you think happens when they receive some of these things?
Do you think they appreciate what they receive?
Do you think they are happy?
How long will that happiness last?
The Story of Achan
Achan and his family lived in a tent. That may sound strange to you , because your family and the people you know probably live in houses or apartment buildings. But, living in tents was quite common for Achan and his family.
Achan had everything he needed. He had his tent-home. He had a flock of sheep for wool to make clothing. He had herds of cattle for milk and meat. He had a wife and children that loved him. Achan should have been very happy. But he wasn't.
Achan wanted more!
One day Achan saw some very lovely things. He saw:
a beautiful robe from Babylon,
and a piece of gold,
and some silver coins.
As he looked at those items, he thought, "I sure would like to have all that. My clothes are made from sheep's wool. That robe from Babylon is much nicer than the clothing I have. It would look so good on me. And if I had that gold and those silver coins, why, I could buy anything I want."
Achan thought it all over in his mind. The more he thought about it, the better it sounded. The new robe and all that money he just could not pass up. He couldn't just leave it there. After all, if he didn't take it, someone else would come along and take it, right? He finally made his decision.
Achan picked up the gold and the silver coins and put them in a safe place, then he carefully placed the expensive robe over his shoulder so it would not get dirty or wrinkled. Achan was so happy as he journeyed home. He almost couldn't believe his good fortune.
After Achan got home with his treasures, he began to think more about what he had done. He thought, "None of my friends have a robe like this one. It is so special that if I wear it, they will wonder where I got it. I can't tell them I found it and stole it." Then he thought about the gold and the silver. "If I take this gold to the market and try to buy new things, people will wonder how I got the gold. Only the rich people have gold and I am not rich. I can't use the silver either, because it is not from my country, and they will know that I have stolen it. What can I do now?"
Achan began to dig a hole. He dug a deep hole in the ground under his tent. In that hole, he buried the robe, the gold, and the silver. "Ah, that takes care of that!' He thought. 'It is all under the ground, and no one will ever know what I have done."
Achan forgot about God. He forgot that God sees everything and knew what he did. In the end, Achan had to be punished for the sin he committed.
Do you think it is wrong or sinful to want things?
If you see something that doesn't look like it belongs to anyone is it all right to take it?
What should Achan have done when he saw the robe, the gold, and the silver coins?
Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).
Let us pray that we will not be covetous and be content with what we have.
Dear God, Thank you for all the good things you have given us, such as our family, home, clothing, and food.Help us learn to be happy with what we have and not to be tempted to steal in order to get the things we think we want. Let us remember that you are always watching over us, and help us to only do those things thatwill be pleasing to you. In Jesus' name.