Judgment must begin in the house of God. This has always been true throughout Scripture. It is not a new thing.
The chapter of Joshua I have picked out in the title shows that God is clear about sin being anathema to Himself, and as such, it should be just as anathema to us.
In verse 1, we are told of Israel’s unfaithfulness. Then, 2-5, we see Joshua sending men to clear out Ai so that the Israelites could take it over. But since the Lord’s anger burned against Israel because of their sin (verse 1), He had no intention of leaving things in such a mess. 36 men approximately, were killed in battle that day. That doesn’t sound a lot out of three thousand men, but none of them were able to take Ai. The Lord was against them until the sin was purged out of the camp.
Verses 6-12 show Joshua tearing his clothes, crying out to God and God rebuking him! “What are you doing down on the ground? Get up!” The rest of the chapter spells out a dreadful judgment about to fall on Achan. Not only him, but all his livestock and his family were killed.
Do we think the Lord is any more able to accept sin these days? We’d better think again. Hebrews 10:26-31 wasn’t written for the fun of it. I know we are told in 1 John that we have an Advocate with the Father if we sin, (1 John 2:1-2), but this is not to protect us from deliberate sin. We know when we’ve done wrong when we allow the Holy Spirit to convict us. But if we become hard hearted and forget conviction, we are in a very dangerous place. And since judgment DOES begin with the house of God, (1 Peter 4:17), better we listen to Him if He chastises us. Another warning comes in that if we are never chastised by the Lord, we are actually none of His. (Hebrews 12:8).
Too many people want to talk about the love of God without talking about His anger against sin. His eyes are too pure to look upon sin, (Habakkuk 1:13a) If we say that we have no sin, well, 1 John tells us where that thought leads us. Sadly, we are only deceived. Read 1 John 1:5-10. It cannot get any clearer than that.
Have we got things which we need to clear out of our lives? Well, now that we have been given as much light as we have from God, it’s well about time we put our spiritual houses in order.