And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
They worked deceitfully, for they pretended that they were ambassadors, and they took old sacks upon their donkeys, and old wine bottles, that were torn and bound up;
They wore old sandals that were patched and they were wearing ragged garments. Their bread was dry and moldy.
And they came to Joshua who was in the camp at Gilgal, and said to him, and to the men of Israel, We have come from a far country: to ask you to make a treaty with us.
And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Maybe you dwell among us; so how shall we make a treaty with you?
And they said unto Joshua, We are your servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are you? and where do you come from?
And they said unto him, We have come from a very far country and your servants come because of the name of the LORD your God: for we have heard His fame, and all that he did in Egypt,
And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that [were] on the other side of Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which [was] at Ashtaroth.
Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country said to us, Take food with you for the journey, and go meet them, and say to them, We are your servants: please make a treaty with us.
Our bread here was hot out of the oven when we left home, but look at it now, it is dry and moldy.
And our wine skins were new when we poured the wine into them and now look at them, they are torn and cracked. Our clothes and shoes are worn out because of our very long journey.
And the men took of their victuals, and sought not the counsel of the LORD.
And Joshua made peace with them, and made a treaty with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore unto them.
And it came to pass that three days after they had made a treaty with them, that they discovered that they [were] their neighbors, and that they were dwelling among them.
I. HOW MANY OF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN DECEIVED?
A. We have come to realize that things are not always as they seem.
1. People can put on a false front.
2. They can tell tall stories and they seem so sincere.
3. Every year people are taken for millions of dollars by deceivers.
B. There are people who live by deceit.
1. They usually prey upon the greed of people.
2. There is usually a promise of great profit from a little work.
3. They talk in terms of millions of dollars.
C. In our text, we see that Joshua, the man of God, has been deceived.
1. How could a man of his stature be deceived?
2. They took of their vituals, and inquired not of the Lord.
a. The bread was dry and moldy.
b. The clothes were ragged.
c. The wineskins were cracked and bound.
3. Obviously they have been a long time on the road. We do not need to ask God about this one; our own observations tell us they have traveled a long way.
4. I think of the line in that song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer."
D. The men of Israel by being deceived, were brought into an ungodly alliance.
1. God had told them not to make a treaty with the people for that would become a snare to them.
2. The scripture warns us against ungodly alliances.
a. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness?
And what agreement has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel?
And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
b. Sometimes as we look at the mess we are in we ask, "How did I ever get into such a mess?"
c. The answer is usually, we took of their victuals and inquired not of the Lord.
3. Too often we are led by our emotions rather than the Spirit.
a. So often sweet Christian girls are swept off their feet by some handsome young man, and they think that they are in love.
b. They feel that their love is so strong that it really doesn't matter that the young man is not saved.
c. He is so attentive, and kind. He drives a fancy car, and he says the right things.
d. They are blinded to their faults, for love is blind.
e. They imagine that their love can conquer anything, all their differences. After they are married, she can lead him to the Lord.
f. They don't realize that they are playing against a stacked deck.
g. The rules of the game are not the same between a believer and an unbeliever.
II. KING SOLOMON IN HIS PROVERBS SAID:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
A. There are three things that we are told to do.
1. Trust in the Lord with all of our heart.
2. Lean not to your own understanding.
3. In all your ways acknowledge Him.
B. If you will do these three things, this is what God will do, He will direct your path.
C. When we come to a major junction in our life we usually choose which path we will take, then we ask God to bless our journey.
1. Many times the path ends in disaster and we are prone to question why God would allow us to experience such pain.
2. It is better when we come to a junction to ask God which path you should take. Let him direct your path.
3. The scripture tells us that there is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death.
4. It is a false pride that says, "I did not want to bother God with my little needs."
5. But because you did not want to trouble God with your little needs, those little needs have become great needs, and you are now desperate.
D. We are servants of Jesus Christ. What does that mean?
1. Paul said, "You are not your own, you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God with your body and with your spirit, which are His."
2. Jesus asked, "Why do you call me Lord when you do not the things that I command you?"
3. When I received Jesus as Lord, I gave up my right to choose what I wanted to do or be. I turned the decision process over to Him.
4. It is no longer what I wish to be, or where I wish to go, for I have given up the right to choose my way. The Lord shall choose for me, that's much better.
5. How is that worked out practically? I seek His will in every choice I make.
6. In all my ways, I acknowledge Him, that He might direct my path.