Day 16: Deceivers

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source: The Brick Testament

In Joshua 9, things get a little interesting for the Israelites. They’ve been defeating enemy after enemy, and start to get a little reputation in the land of Canaan. Some of the locals get scared. Which they should be, of course.

But the Gibeonites take it to a new level. They purposely deceive the leaders of Israel. They wear old clothes, use rotting wineskins, and carry moldy bread. They tell Israel they’ve traveled from far away and ask Joshua to make a peace treaty with them.

And Israel makes a big mistake. Here are the key verses.

14 So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath.

“They did not consult the Lord.” And they found themselves in quite a predicament. God had told them not to make treaties with any of the people in Canaan – and they did. They would have to live with that decision for a long time. It wasn’t really their fault they were duped – but it was their fault they didn’t ask God. I’m pretty sure God would have told Joshua what was going on.

I found it interesting that this tale in Joshua was in my one-a-day Bible on the same day as one from Luke.

In Luke 16, Jesus tells a parable where a rich man’s manager is found swindling money. The manager is worried about what would happen when he lost his job. So he finds the people who owe money to his boss and rework their forms so they owe less. That way, he thinks, the people will owe him one when he doesn’t have a job.

Once again, we see a swindler. And I love how Jesus ends the parable.

“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. Here’s the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.”

From Joshua to Jesus to us, we’re always going to encounter people who are pretty good at deception. Here’s what I think we can glean from these two passages:

  • ALWAYS consult God! His Spirit is there to lead us in the right direction. Listen to spiritual nudges or checks in your spirit that tell you something fishy is going on. They are there.
  • Do what Jesus says: use your funds to benefit others. Give freely. Don’t cling on so tight to your money.
  • Deception belongs to unbelievers. Little lies count. Don’t lie. Just don’t.

 

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