Joshua 7 

Going through a box one day, I came across a picture of a man holding a duck in one hand and a pellet gun in the other. There is a story . . . 

It was a beautiful day in Wyoming and pastor, lead deacon (hereafter known as “John”) and I were at Pathfinder Reservoir having spent the night camping. We woke up and after breakfast we all decided to try our hand at fishing. 

Well, the fish were not cooperating at all! Pastor and I got into his boat and rowed ourselves around trying to find the fish. John stayed on the banks trying his luck. No fish. 

When pastor and I got back to our camp site he decided to go look for rocks (he was a rock hound and loved to polish them up) and John and I continued our quest for the elusive fish.  Gazing over the reservoir John saw a duck swimming across from us about 75 yards away. 

John grabbed his pellet gun and sighted it at the duck and wondered out loud if he could hit the duck. I told him I didn’t think so. John pumped up the pellet gun as much as it could hold, aimed and shot at the duck. 

Neither of us saw any kind of splash from the pellet and we assumed he had missed. After 10 or 15 seconds of swimming by us, the duck suddenly dropped its head into the water and stopped swimming! 

Could it be? Was it possible that John has actually hit the duck? We started laughing at the way the duck stopped swimming and then we realized that the wind was pushing the duck towards shore. We walked down the shoreline until we got to the (now deceased) duck and pulled it out of the water. 

Indeed, John had not only hit the duck (with the wind blowing and the duck moving through the water was no mean feat!) but had killed it! PANIC!!!!!! What are we supposed to do?!?!?! 

I know, let’s put it in pastor’s fish bag! Brilliant! Leave it in the back of his pickup truck! Good idea! And John hid the pellet gun in the bedding while we went back to fishing. Finally, pastor returned and John and I breathed a sigh of relief. We showed him the duck and words cannot express the range of emotions that passed over his face! 

Then he told us to pack everything up and get ready to leave. Not only did John have a weapon on a national wildlife refuge, he shot and killed a duck on said wildlife refuge. I believe there were numerous laws that were violated. 

We got loaded up and headed back home (about an hour’s drive) with pastor giving us a lecture we would not soon forget. When we got back to the parsonage, we tried to explain to the two wives (I was single at the time) about the duck, how it was done against numerous state and federal laws, and it was such a miraculous shot, and would they help us clean the duck? 

No. They would have nothing to do with that duck, nothing. So, pastor, John and I cleaned the bird putting the entrails and feathers in a bag and throwing them in the garbage. We cooked the bird and even offered to share some of our spoil with the women. No. 

It tasted terrible, but we ate every bit of it. All the while under the disapproving looks of pastor’s wife and John’s wife. What meat we didn’t eat we ran through the garbage disposal. 

We three men did a lot of repenting, I can tell you! 

Thank God for His mercy because the scripture reference talks about Achan who tried to hide his sin and the result was that his entire family was stoned. “Sin in the camp.” is what God told Joshua and eventually it was found to be Achan who had sinned. 

Today we have a Redeemer and a Savior who has forgiven every sin we have ever committed and every sin we will commit – Jesus Christ! What a relief to know that we can stand at His throne because our sins are forgiven us! 

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