January 6th

Quiet Times: Protection from Deception

3But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, 5old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us."  12This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy. 13And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey."
14Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD. 15So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.16And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them.  Joshua 9:3-16 NKJV

This story shows how Joshua and rest of Israelís leadership learned another painful lesson about the value of meeting with God on a daily basis.  Previously, Joshua neglected meeting with God following the Jericho victory.  Instead of seeking Godís counsel, Joshua relied on his scoutís estimation of Aiís strength and was defeated. He missed the critical revelation that God had withdrawn from Israel because of Achanís sin.  In this new situation, Joshua makes another major mistake because he had not sought the Lord. 

Godís best plan for the Israelites was for them to totally annihilate the inhabitants of the promised land, so no possible footholds of idolatry and other sin would be left to corrupt the Israelites.  The Gibeonites were crafty and sought to deceive Israel. They knew there was little chance they would be spared otherwise.  The leaders of Israel did not seek Godís counsel (14) concerning the peace covenant, and they fell to the Gibeonite deception.  They discovered their mistake 3 days after making the covenant.  The peace covenant prevented the Israelites from removing the Gibeonites, therefore leaving a future foothold for the corruption of Israel.  Israel would eventually engage in the idolatry of the land and be expelled from the land.   

We can learn from Joshuaís mistake and make it our top priority to meet with God each day.  We need his counsel and revelation to avoid the deception the enemy may use against us.  A revelation from scripture, a prompting regarding a situation, a burden during prayer, or a word from God could be vehicles God may use to help keep us from disaster.  We face a skilled adversary, the devil, who is the Father of Lies (John 8:44).  He has been studying man since the day he was created.  His evil minions watch our every move, looking for opportunities to lead us away from Godís best for our life.  Only with Godís counsel, wisdom and protection can we best ensure we will stay on his path of victory.  As the Psalmist wrote, ďThe counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generationsĒ (Psalm 33:11 NKJV). 

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

ďHeavenly Father, I praise and exalt Your name! You alone are worthy of all praise and honor. There is no God but You. There is none like you!  I thank you for sending your Spirit to live in me and be with me.  Thank you that Your Spirit guides me in all truth.  Please help me make it top priority each day to meet with You.  Please give me Your counsel, O God, so that I will walk in Your ways and wisdom.  Please protect me from deception. Thank you, Father, that your counsel stands forever!  In Jesusí name I pray, Amen.Ē