TWO METHODS SAME DEVIL
In Joshua 9, Joshua was leading the armies of
into the promises of God's covenant. Israel
They had won two important battles in their promised land- both
and Ai. Jericho
God had told them to drive out all of the inhabitants!
Each king of the surrounding nations had heard and each king was afraid. They were quickly scrambling to figure out how to preserve their place, ensure their futures and keep their territory! Remember we are not now driving out people but we ARE driving out the enemy of the souls of men! The other nation chose instead not to fight but to reserve their territory through deception! If the devil can't get you to fall, he may try to make a deal!
DISTRACTION OR ATTACK
We need to stay focused on the plan of God in our lives and be alert to any devises of the enemy to lead us off track including friendships that appear to be one thing but are really another and agreements that look nice but are really distractions!
Six kings gathered together to strategize against
. This was the obvious thing enemies would be expected to do and did not catch Israel unaware or off guard. Israel
One nation however did not join the unified front against
. They approached the problem in an entirely different matter- a plan of self-preservation and deception! Israel
Know for certain that your enemy wants to retain a foothold in your life! If he can't get you to fail one way, he'll attempt to stop or hinder you another way! We must be alert to the plans and devises of the devil!
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
We must not be ignorant! We must be aware that we do have an enemy that would do anything to stop us! He is not stupid and will try various ways to stop us. This is not to project fear. We have courage, authority and the Word of God but we also have wisdom and discernment! We just need to be aware and on our toes and be aware that the devil is wicked and we are in the war of the ages- the battle for the hearts of men and the devil wants to render us ineffective and retain footholds. These men were supposed to be run from their place but because of trickery, they were preserved.
Contrasted with the kings of nations that banned together to physically fight
Israel is another nation called Gibeon. They didn't take the obvious route but tackled the problem from another direction. Take a look at Joshua 9: 3-6
Joshua 9: 3- But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, 5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of
, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” Israel
The definition of craftily is skillful in underhanded or evil schemes, cunning and deceptive (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/craftily)
We should not be caught unawares - but should be wise with understanding hearts. The bible tells us to be alert!
2 Corinthians 2:11 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
- These sought to preserve themselves through deception.
- They pretended to be someone they were not.
- Their motives were for self-preservation.
- They had their own agenda! Watch out for friends with agendas!
- They became a distraction and a hindrance.
was not alert and aware they are still experiencing problems today- thousands of years later! Israel
On a practical note:
- We should not be quick to enter into agreements.
- We should know those that seek to covenant with us and we should know their motives.
- People aren't always who they say they are and their story isn't always true!
- Be careful of people that want to attach themselves to you but their motives are wrong.
This doesn't say that we should be suspicious of every friendship but just to know that as we walk through our spiritual journey, if the devil can't stop us with warfare, he will attempt deception and/or distraction!
The bible says the devil is crafty. It says he walks around as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We need to be as wise as serpents but harmless as doves, know those we enter into agreements with and be careful to stay focused on the plan of God without distraction! Amen!