9:3-4 But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. It is not uncommon for people to lie to get out of trouble, but was sure to cause problems for Israel! These were Hivites (vs. 7), people that God planned to destroy because of their evil. That means they will end up being a thorn in their side at some point. But while the Gibeonites saved themselves, living to become slaves to the Israelites couldn't have been a picnic either!
9:3-27 Satan is tricky. He sometimes tricks us into seemingly good alliances with sin. The problems come when we don't consult God but rush ahead in human will and wisdom. Giving more credence to the apparent circumstances in our lives than to the One who can arrange them is like choosing moldy bread over the Bread of Life!
10:25 "Don't ever be afraid or discouraged," Joshua told his men. "Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies." This was the Christ-type speaking! This is in store for our spiritual enemies in unseen realms! Jesus is going to chase down and wipe out His enemies (who go after His children) on this earth to establish His kingdom.
Questions for reflection:
Have you ever lied to get out of trouble? Is it always wrong? This has actually been a big struggle of mine in my life at times. I've experienced some quite abusive relationships with various family members in my life, and one of my coping skills became to lie to get out of trouble. At the time, this hardly seems wrong, but it IS wrong always. Sure, it might save your skin at the moment, but the bad thing about lying at all-even for self-preservation-is that it makes it easier to begin lying about other things. Plus, it only keeps the cycle of fear and dysfunction going! If lying out of fear is a struggle for you, try to identify the relationships and situations you are tempted to lie, and plan ahead for next time how to be truthful at all costs. One of the ways I did this was deciding to own up to my choices, even if it would get me into trouble.
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