Oh, Our Achan Bones

Freed from our oppressors
     by the mighty hands of God,
We once heard and believed
     His Word and obeyed His law,
          and He gave us victory.
But, like Achan¹ in the desert,
     God's favor wasn't enough. 
          We wanted more. 
Victory ran on ahead of us...
     and out of sight.

From the beginning, we have
     not been satisfied with God's gifts.
Adam and Eve wanted more,
     Noah's brethren wanted more,
          King David wanted much more,
               Even Judas wasn't satisfied and
                    Ananias and Sapphira too.

We have taken what God said don't
     and buried it deep beneath our tents. 
We have taken from what is His truth
     and twisted it to fit our own realities.
We have taken what is only God's job
     and have sought to make it our role.

We are taking our greatest victories
     and making them our worst defeats. 
What was given to us by God's hands,
     we are treating as if made by ours.
We think we can keep doing all this
     and get away with it, paying no price.

Continuing on still, we are not
     satisfied to leave what is God's alone.
          Margaret Sanger wanted more,
               Noam Chomsky wanted more,
                    Madalyn O' Hair wanted more,
                         Even Vashti McCollum, and
                              Benjamin Spock as well.

It's not always our oppressors
     who defeat and imprison us. 
It's not always satan who scatters
     and divides us from one another,
          more than not, these days.
But, like Achan in today's desert,
      God's favor hasn't been enough. 
          We've wanted so much more. 
Imagined victories feels like a beating...
     oh, our Achan¹ bones.

Joshua 7:1-26

¹Achan, meaning 'troubler' in Hebrew, was
a member of the tribe of Judah who appears
in the Book of Joshua as an Israelite who dis-
obeyed God by taking for himself spoils of
the battle at Jericho.

by J Alan R
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