Lesson 9: Oh My Achan Heart
After the huge victory at Jericho, the Israelites were riding high. God told them not to touch any of the gold or other valuables in Jericho because they had been offered to idols. Achan was a man who saw some of the gold and decided to take it anyway. He hid it under his tent thinking no one would ever know. But, God knew. God led Joshua right to Achan, and Achan paid a high price for his sin. Not only Achan, but the entire army of Israel and Achan’s own family. In this lesson, the children will learn that we can never hide our sin from God. Instead, we must confess our sin and allow God to forgive us.
- Play: Countdown Video
Game Prep You will need ten pieces of paper with various numbers of points written on them. Prior to the children’s arrival, hide the ten pieces of paper in various places around the room. Make some of them very easy, and make others of them a little more difficult.
Before the lesson familiarize yourself with the Bible story found in Joshua 7:1-26.
Bobby: Thank you! Thank you! Hello CHATTANOOGA!! YEAAAAAAH!!!
Leader: Hey Bobby! How’re you feeling today?
Bobby: (high pitched note) BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!
Leader: Bobby you’re usually so happy! I’ve never seen you this upset before!
Bobby: I’m sorry bayyyyy-buh, but it’s been a loooooong hard week!
Leader: What’s been going on?
Bobby: It’s our drummer, Fancy Frankie Fast-Hands!
Bobby: Naw, that’s his cousin! This is Fancy-Frankie Fast-Hands! He’s got the fastest hands in the world! When he drums, his hands go so fast you can’t even see them! It looks like a big blur!
Leader: That doesn’t sound like it’d be a bad thing…
Bobby: It wouldn’t sound bad if he actually made ANY sound at all!
Bobby: Earlier this week we were practicing and we couldn’t hear the drums! Fancy-Frankie FastHands said he was just playing too fast and it was taking forever for the sound to get to our ears! So we kept playing and playing, and Frankie’s hands were just going NUTS! (waves his arms like he’s playing air drums really really fast) But still no sound!
Leader: That’s really strange!
Bobby: That’s what I thought! So I walked up to Frankie and said “Frankie! What’s wrong? How come we can’t hear the drums!”? And you know what he said to me? He said (imitates a voice with some sort of thick accent) “Somethin’s been eating all my drum sticks!”
Leader: Something was EATING his drumsticks?! That’s terrible!
Bobby: He said something about his pet termites sneaking in at night and eating all of his wooden drumsticks! And what’s worse is that I know he was lying! Fancy-Frankie Fast-Hands is ALLERGIC to termites! He doesn’t have any pet termites at all! PLUS, his drumsticks are made out of METAL!!
Leader: He LIED to you, Bobby!
Bobby: YEAAAAAH he did! And I called him out on it too! I said “Frankie, why you lying to me baaaayyyyy-buh? You don’t have any pet termites! Where are your drumsticks?” You know what he said to me then?
Bobby: (Imitates thick accent again) ” I just forgot to bring them today.” Can you believe that? Instead of just telling the truth that he had done wrong, he goes and tries to cover it up and lie to me, making it worse! We missed an ENTIRE day of rehearsal just because he wouldn’t admit he had done wrong.
Leader: I’m sorry to hear that, Bobby. It’s like what we’re talking about today. It’s never good to try and cover stuff up, ESPECIALLY from God. Instead, we should confess it to Him.
Bobby: You sure got that right, baaaaaaay-buh!! It’s okay now though; we’ll never have a problem with Fancy-Frankie Fast-Hands losing his drum sticks ever again. (pulls out a roll of duct tape and yells offstage) HEY FRANKY! GIMME THOSE HANDS OF YOURS, BOY! (back to audience) I’ll see you later, everybody! I’M Bobby ROCKIT! YEAAAAAAAHHH! THANK YOU! GOOD NIGHT!!!
Choose two participants to play in this game. Tell them they will have one minute to find as many of the pieces of paper that you have hidden around the room. Tell them that not all the pieces of paper are worth the same amount of points. At the end of one minute, count up the total number of points for each player’s paper they were able to find. The participant with the most points is the winner!
In our game today, our players received rewards based on how many of the hidden pieces of paper they found. In today’s story we are going to learn that there is NO reward when we HIDE our sin.
Today we are picking up the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho where we left off. Remember what happened? The city of Jericho was surrounded by HUGE walls all the way around it. God told the Israelites to march around the city, blow their trumpets, and SHOUT! That’s exactly what the Israelites did—and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down!
The Israelites rushed into the city and defeated the army of Jericho. They celebrated this amazing victory that God had brought to them. God had also commanded them that as they went through the city, they were to gather up ALL of the gold, silver, and other valuables. They were commanded to either bring it to the temple as an offering OR destroy it. God warned them that if they took anything for themselves that they would be destroyed.
There was a certain man named Achan who heard the command, but he had another idea. He thought to himself, “This is a big city with a whole lot of gold and silver. Nobody is going to miss a little bit of this gold and silver. I could take some of it for myself, and no one will miss it. After all, if I hide it, no one will ever know.”
So, Achan gathered up some of the gold and silver and buried it underneath his tent. He thought he was pretty clever, and assumed that NO ONE would ever know. But, someone DID know. Someone saw what Achan had done, and was very sad. You know who that someone was, kids? (allow them to respond) The one who saw what Achan had done was...God! You see, Achan thought he could hide his sin from everyone. But, he forgot something very important that we often forget...
Sometimes we can make the same mistake that Achan made. We sin and think that no one will ever know what we have done. We might lie to our parents, cheat on a test, or even steal something. We think we have gotten away with it because no one saw us do it. (hold up the change bag and the Silk handkerchief with the word “SIN” on it) We commit a sin and then we “hide” it. (place the “SIN” in the “change bag,” making sure you place it in the extra hidden compartment) We think, “Nobody will ever know.” (while you are talking, and without the kids noticing, flip the “trigger” on the handle of the bag, causing the hidden compartment to “hide” causing the bag to appear empty) We even think that as long as we “hide” our sin, that no one will ever be able to find it. (turn the bag inside out, causing the kids to believe that the “SIN” has disappeared, making the bag look empty; in fact, it is hidden to them in the “hidden” compartment. Then, turn the bag right side out again)
Kids, we can fool everyone around us into thinking we are “OK”. We can try to hide our sin from others, and that may work for awhile. But, God sees beyond the outside and sees our hearts. (while you are talking, move the trigger back over to where the “SIN” is now revealed) We can’t hide our sin from God. He looks in our hearts and sees the sin that no one else may know about. (reach into the bag and pull out the “SIN” to reveal that it was not gone, but in fact still there)
Achan thought he was getting away with stealing all of the valuables, but God saw what he had done. God was so angry that He pulled back his protection from the army of Israel. When they went into their next battle against a VERY small army...a battle they should have won, they were beaten BIG TIME!
Joshua prayed to God and asked why this was happening to them. God told Joshua that someone had stolen the things that were supposed to be set apart for the Lord. The next day, Joshua called every tribe of Israel to report to him one by one. God revealed to Joshua that Achan was the man who had stolen the gold and silver.
Achan told Joshua that the valuables were buried beneath his tent. They dug them up, then ordered Achan and his entire family to be put to death. WOW! So, Achan thought he was going to get away with the sin and hide it. Not only was his sin revealed, but he and his entire family were put to death as a result of what he did. This teaches us a very important lesson, boys and girls. Not only can I never hide my sin, but…
Achan thought he would get away with his sin, and many times we do, too. But, God sees all, and He will not allow sin to continue in our lives. He will make sure it is revealed, and we will have to pay the price for our sin. What is that price? For Achan, it was the death of him and his family. For us, it is different. The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death.” This is referring to Hell, an eternity of separation from God. It’s a high price that God doesn’t want us to have to pay. So, when we sin—what should we do? Should we hide it? NO! If we do, we will pay a HIGH PRICE for it. And, just like Achan, most of the time our sin doesn’t just hurt US, it also hurts those around us that we love. So, instead of hiding my sin...
God doesn’t want us to hide our sin and pay the high price. God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross and pay the price for our sin. All He asks is that instead of hiding our sin, we must confess it to Him and ask His forgiveness. God is ALWAYS ready and willing to forgive us. It doesn’t matter what we have done. So, don’t hide your sin like Achan. Confess your sin to God and receive His forgiveness.
(play soft music) Ask the children to bow their heads and close their eyes. Have them think about their lives. Do they have sins that they have been sneaking around and hiding? Do they have things that they think no one knows about? Remind them that God sees all. He is ready to forgive them. Lead them in a prayer of confession and forgiveness.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “There Ain’t No Way I’m Gonna Hide My Sin!”
What was Ban Daid’s Extreme Stunt today? Answer: Extreme Dumpster Diving
What was the name of the man who stole the valuables? Answer: Achan
Where did Achan hide the valuables? Answer: under his tent
Was Achan the only one who paid the price for his sin? Answer: no, others suffered as well
In our lesson today, we learned “I Can ___________ Hide My Sin.” Answer: never
In our lesson today, we also learned “Sin Has A High ______________.” Answer: price
In our lesson today, we also learned “I Must _____________ My Sin, And Receive God’s Forgiveness.” Answer: Confess
True or False — God sees and knows everything I do. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: 1 John 1:9