Two things make Achan’s story especially sad. First, it occurred so suddenly on the heels of an incredible victory—the miraculous invasion of Jericho. And second, it resulted in a devastating toll on so many others. One man—a single, isolated individual—deliberately chose to disobey, yet numerous innocent victims fell in the wake of his sin, bringing calamity to a nation.
Looking back more than 60 years, I've learned a valuable lesson: when people are hurting, they need much more than an accurate analysis and a quick diagnosis. More than professional advice.
Though a twin, he was quite the opposite of his younger brother and ultimately became the heartache of the family. Ripped off by his brother and rejected by his family, he couldn’t win, no matter how hard he tried. As we shall soon discover, the Bible pulls no punches. And you may find several places in this story where you can identify with Esau, “the son who couldn’t win.”
Satan and his demons operate by deceiving us, seducing us, blinding us, accusing us, and seeking to influence us in such a way as to defeat us and thereby rob God of His glory (Ephesians 6:12).
Letting go is always difficult. And the closer we are to the thing (or person) being released, the more difficult it is to let go. We must hold everything loosely. Some of the most poignant examples of letting go come in the context of parent-child relationships. Upon receiving God’s command to offer his son as a sacrifice, Abraham let Isaac go and obeyed without resistance, illustrating his allegiance to God above all.
The story of Cain and Abel is tossed around rather generally in both Christian and non-Christian circles. Many folks are aware of the big picture aspect of the account—namely, that the older brother murdered the younger—but beyond that, little is known and even less is applied to everyday life. But woven within and between the lines of this amazing story are several insights that await our discovery.
But it was like something out of a horror movie at first. Then I thought, Well, make the most of it. So I did. Sometimes the only thing I can control is my outlook. My response. This was definitely one of those times.
Somewhere back in time, you and I were given a faulty set of instructions. Somewhere we learned that only the most famous or the star athlete or the most publicly gifted individual is worth our time and attention, our respect and our loudest applause. But in reality, if it wasn’t for the people who surround them, these well-known individuals would quickly fade in popularity and become among the most commonplace.
The Bible isn't just ink on a page, but a conduit of the Spirit. It is not ours to dissect, summarize, manage, or control. It presides over us. With Lectio Divina we read smaller amounts and take more time to do it.
Who knows how many families today have grown apart due to silence and unresolved conflicts? Who can guess how many wrongs have been swept aside, causing unmentioned family secrets to linger? Reconciliation is essential if we wish to cultivate healthy and wholesome relationships. But…how?