It Takes Only One Rotten Apple

Bruce Hoffman

READ : Joshua 7:19-26

When I was a 7th grader, I “horsed around” in class on more than one occasion and was caught. The teacher punished the whole class and not just me. I’m sure my classmates cried “unfair,” but that’s the way it was. That’s the way it also was with the story of Achan and his disobeying God. In taking Jericho, God gave orders that articles of value had to be put into the Lord’s treasury and could not be seized for private use. Achan knew the orders, but seized gold and hid it for himself.

The next battle was the taking of Ai . . . seemingly it was to be an easy battle as battles go. However, Israel is soundly defeated and Joshua is very puzzled as to why this happened. It is made known to Joshua that Achan is the culprit and his sinful behavior is the reason for Israel’s defeat. God had punished the nation for the sins of one!

I believe God still does that today. He withholds his blessings upon a certain church because there is a particular sin being committed by one or a few. When the sin is dealt with in a God-honoring way, blessings return. God sometimes punishes all so that all are angered with the wrongdoer and take appropriate action. The old saying is true: “It takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel.” Is your church victorious for God? If not, why not?


Lord, we need to examine ourselves before You. Show us our hidden faults. Forgive us for the sake of Christ. Amen.