In Joshua 7 it is seen how Israel was defeated at Ai because of one man’s sin of coveting. This one sin committed by Achan brought defeat and discouragement to Israel. This city was placed under a ban from God. That means that everything in that city belongs to God. God wanted all of the silver and gold to be placed in the treasury of the Lord. (Josh 6:19) Achan disobeyed and stole some of the booty that was the Lord’s. After Israel’s defeat, Joshua asked the Lord why they had lost. When the sin of Achan was revealed, he confessed that he seen it, coveted it, and then he took it. Achan knew that the booty was the Lord’s, but it seems that he continued to look at it and maybe ponder if he could get away with it. This is the first step in the road of sin. As he looked at it, he should have remembered that it was not his and that should have been the end of it. But instead, he began to want and covet it for himself. At this point sin began to give birth. Once he coveted it, his own evil desires began to take over and he acted on his desires. (James 1:14–15)
This one sin of coveting kept an entire nation from having victory in battle (v.21). Achan confessed that he seen the spoil, coveted it, then took it. They went into battle relying on the number of men they sent, instead of relying on God. Since Achan sinned privately it cost the lives of thirty-six men, the nation Israel could not stand before their enemies’ victorious, and Achan and his entire family was stoned to death.
It is easily seen how the progress of sin begins with the eyes. Like Achan, as he began to look around at the silver and gold that was not his. He began to covet and want it. Once desire and lust set in his heart, he acted on his own evil desires. Believers must be careful what they allow their eyes to see. The progress of sin begins with the eyes. If the believer continues to look at something with the desire to have it, this simple look could turn to a harmful sin that will affect him and/or her and their loved ones.