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From Eternity Past

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    Achan Refuses to Repent

    Of the millions of Israel there was but one man who had dared to transgress the command of God. Achan's covetousness was excited by that costly robe of Shinar; even when it had brought him face to face with death he called it “a goodly Babylonish garment.” And he appropriated the gold and silver devoted to the treasury of the Lord; he robbed God of the first fruits of the land of Canaan. How rarely does the violation of the tenth commandment so much as call forth censure. The enormity of this sin, and its terrible results, are the lessons of Achan's history.EP 352.3

    Achan had cherished greed of gain until it became a habit, binding him in fetters well-nigh impossible to break. He would have been filled with horror at the thought of bringing disaster upon Israel; but his perceptions were deadened by sin, and when temptation came, he fell an easy prey.EP 352.4

    We are as directly forbidden to indulge covetousness as was Achan to appropriate the spoils of Jericho. We are warned, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” “Take heed, and beware of covetousness.” “Let it not be once named among you.” Matthew 6:24; Luke 12:15; Ephesians 5:3. We have before us the fearful doom of Achan, of Judas, of Ananias and Sapphira. Back of all these we have Lucifer. Yet, notwithstanding all these warnings, covetousness abounds.EP 352.5

    Everywhere its slimy track is seen. It creates dissension in families; it excites envy and hatred in the poor against the rich; it prompts the grinding oppression of the rich toward the poor. And this evil exists not in the world alone, but in the church. How common even here to find selfishness, avarice, neglect of charities, and robbery of God “in tithes and offerings.” Many a man comes to church and sits at the table of the Lord, while among his possessions are hidden unlawful gains, things that God has cursed. For a “goodly Babylonish garment” multitudes sacrifice their hope of heaven. The cries of the suffering and poor are unheeded; the gospel light is hindered in its course; practices give the lie to the Christian profession; yet the covetous professor continues to heap up treasures. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me” (Malachi 3:8), saith the Lord.EP 353.1

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