April 14 - The Great Deception
After taking the city of Ai, the kings beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland and along the coast of the Great Sea were alarmed and joined forces to come against Joshua and Israel. However, the inhabitants of Gibeon knew that they would not stand against the Israelites and they chose to use deception against Israel. They acted with cunning, staging a claim that they were from very far away place and wanted to make peace with Israel.
On the heel of their recent victory over Ai, with the news about the alliance of the Canaanite kings coming against them, they did not seek the Lord about this group of “far away people”, the Gibeonites. They relied on physical evidences, they used their common sense, they came to a conclusion without asking for the Lord’s opinion. In the end, they believed in a lie that would cause them trouble later on. Joshua did not exercise his spiritual leadership but depended on his human abilities.
The results are twofold: first, they did not realize the potential danger they had in making a covenant with the Gibeonites. Gibeon was a large city, like a city of the King, far greater than the City of Ai. All the inhabitants were brave warriors. Should they decide to attack Israel, they could be a very strong enemy. Through deception, they hid this very important piece of information from Israel. Second, this wrong move caused dissension within the ranks of Israel. Because of the mistake made, the people were grumbling against the leadership. That was also potentially dangerous to the effort of the Israelites in the conquest of their Promised Land.
The devil comes against God’s people in several ways. The first common tactic is to tempt them into sin. Sin opens up doors for Satanic attack, bringing curses on God’s people and eventual defeat. Another tactic is to instill fear in God’s camp through intimidation, paralyzing them into inaction. The third common way is to lie to God’s children. When they believe in a lie without going to the Lord for verification, the result is always defeat or giving ground to the devil. The Gibeonites then lived among the Israelites and the Israelites could do nothing about it because of the agreement made with them.
When you are weak spiritually, the enemy will come at you with a lot of intimidations. When you are unguarded, he would tempt you into sin and cause the protection of God to be removed. If you think that you are strong, he can come with lies fed into your mind. When you are not alert, you fall into his trap and lose your perspective. The purpose of the enemy is to cause you to be fearful, sinful and gullible. Stay alert, the enemy is coming at you when you least expect him.
Ps 54:1-7 Josh 9:3-10:43 Luke 16:19-17:10 Prov 13:4