Imagine for a minute that your heart was big enough for people to walk through, like a museum. What would be on display? What would be the centrepiece? Would it be a ‘gallery of modern art’ or an ‘exhibition of historical artefacts’? These questions are worth thinking about because the fact is, God will give to us what we most desire. What a comforting thing that is; to know that what we want the most is what we will receive. To demonstrate this point let’s look at two extremes: Achan and Rahab, as described in the book of Joshua.

We’re introduced to Achan at the start of chapter 7, after the miraculous victory by God at Jericho. The Israelites had just witnessed a remarkable sign by God that He would fight their battles for them. Yet at the exact time that they are sweeping through Jericho, destroying all, there is one man who is going through the city with a different mission in mind. Achan finds what he’s searching for: a Babylonish garment, together with silver and gold. Who knows for what purpose he took these things? Maybe he imagined life in the Promised Land would be exactly like the city they had just destroyed. Maybe living in a tent for years in the wilderness had led him to desire a life in a city with plenty of wealth. Whatever his reasoning, he had disobeyed God’s commands in Joshua 6:17-19 and had, in fact, stolen what was due to God.

It wasn’t until the defeat at Ai that his sin was uncovered. Upon finding the cause of the defeat, judgment was handed down to Achan and his family. Joshua 7:25-26 records the punishment handed down and, in this punishment, Achan receives his greatest desire. You see, he and his family are stoned, burnt with fire, and then a huge pile of rocks is put on top of them. Achan finished his life under a pile of smoking rocks: an exact replica of the city of Jericho just down the road. He wanted to be associated with Jericho and so he received the same ending. God gave him his greatest desire.

Rahab on the other hand is the complete opposite to Achan; her story is truly remarkable. Not only was her occupation less than desirable, she had presumably grown up in Jericho and been surrounded by the city’s ideology. But, she sought an association with the city’s sworn enemies: the Israelites. She had been brought up in idolatry, yet now she witnessed a God that parted seas and destroyed kings (2:10) — something she esteemed of greater value than any riches to be had in the city. And so she and her family were saved from destruction. Because of her conviction in the God of Israel, she had saved herself and her family.

Achan desired the things of the city and so had thrown away his life and the life of his family. Not so for Rahab: she was about to be rewarded with greater riches. Not only was she and her family accepted into Israel, but she married an Israelite named Salmon. He was from the tribe of Judah and was a relative of Achan. Salmon was of the line of Pharez, and Achan of Zarah. This is significant because our Lord Jesus Christ was also of the line of Pharez (Matt 1). Rahab became part of the family line of our Lord!

So, what is it that you truly desire in your heart? What will Christ find at his return? Are we going to end up under a pile of smoking rocks? Or will he bless us with an inheritance in the Land, living forever with him, as was given to Rahab? It’s your decision. What you fill your ‘museum’ with, will be given to you — “therefore choose life” (Deut 30:19) because your “Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matt 6:18).