Don’t Be Deceived
Have you ever been deceived? I have, a couple of times.
The Gibeonites lived nearby, in the territory of Canaan, designated for destruction according to the Word of God, because of their wickedness.
• They are enemies of Israel, not to be friends of Israel. But they came disguising themselves and seeking to make peace.
• This is not the plan of God but Israel fell for it. They are deceived into thinking these people come from a far country.
It wasn’t just Joshua being fooled. The Bible says the men of Israel were there.
• They are likely the leaders of Israel, which includes the leaders of the tribes, plus the priests and elders. Joshua AND his leaders were cheated.
• Having more people does not necessarily ensure a right decision. Being leaders (knowledgeable and likely with certain experience) do not necessarily mean you will make good decisions.
Why were they gullible? What caused them to fall into this trap? We don’t have to guess. The Bible tells us plainly and a matter-of-factly.
This Morning – “Joshua – A New Beginning” – Part 6
F. W. Robertson is quoted as making a statement which ties in beautifully with what we’ll be looking at in chapter 8: “Life, like war, is a series of mistakes, and he is not the best Christian nor the best general who make the fewest false steps. Poor mediocrity may secure that; but he is the best who wins the most splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes. Forget mistakes; organize victories out of mistakes.”
When we have made a mistake and suffered a defeat what we do is now up to us, we can live in that defeat or we can by God’s grace learn from it and go on.
Though we should never seek to fail, failure can be a backdoor to success if we are willing to seek the forgiveness of God and deal with our sin in the way that God has prescribed. This week we look to Joshua Chapter 8 for 5 secrets for getting back on track after a defeat.
“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SECRET SIN”
The seventh chapter of Joshua opens with the ominous word “but.” The use of the little conjunction of contrast is designed to drive home the reality that victory is often followed by the threat of defeat. Suddenly we are presented with a series of failures that stand in striking contrast to the victories of the past six chapters. Israel had just experienced a miraculous victory over Jericho, “but” now they are going to experience defeat. When Joshua sent out the troops to take Ai he was unaware of Achan’s sin or of God’s displeasure. I have to wonder that if he had consulted with the Lord before making his plans if he would not have learned about both. Likewise many of our personal failures could be avoided if we first took our plans and concerns to God in prayer. Christian would do well to spend time consulting with God before making decisions that may have a major impact both their own lives and the lives of others.
Five Principles For Spiritual Victory
Joshua 5: 13- 6:21
Many of the present generation may not remember that Sergeant Alvin York was the most famous soldier of World War I. Neither do they realize that Alvin C. York was a most unlikely man to become a legendary hero.
York felt that his Christian faith barred him from killing anyone, even in war. After being drafted, York went home on a ten-day leave and considered the scriptures a Christian captain had shared with him.
Finally in a crisis of faith, God showed York that he could obey God and defend the helpless in Europe at the same time. He wrote, “As I prayed there alone… I knew that He was there. He understood I didn’t want to be a fighter or a killing man… He took pity on me and gave me the assurance I needed… It was His will and that was enough for me.”
Sgt. York had to win the war in his mind before he could win the battles that lay ahead of him in the trenches of France and so it was with Joshua.