Summary: The eighth in a series of messages from the book of Joshua on living the victorious Christian life
Sermon by: Dr. Todd Morris
Text: Joshua 9: 1-27 (read 1-6)
Title: Being Too Friendly With The Enemy
Date: February 8, 2004
Introduction: I read a some time ago of a certain type of ant, I can’t remember its name, but it has a great passion for the sweet, glandular substance given off by the caterpillar of a large blue butterfly. They can become so addicted to it that they seek out the supplier and carry him back to their nest in delight. But in fact they are bringing home the enemy in disguise, for this type of caterpillar gorges himself exclusively on ant larva. Usually such a threat would be expelled from the nest with vigor, but the adults are enjoying the sweet secretions of their guest so much that they are oblivious to the fact that their young are being devoured in the process.
As I studied this passage in Joshua I began to see the similarity between the silly ants and what the Bible tells us about the children of Israel in chapter 9. In these verses we see Israel becoming too friendly with their enemies.
The people of Israel have just defeated Ai and are preparing to march deeper into Canaan as they claim their promised land. They have now seen the walls of Jericho fall and have also seen pesky little Ai defeated too. However, before they could win another victory they had to learn a valuable lesson about becoming too friendly with the enemy.
In the battles and stories related to Israel’s conquest of Canaan we can see a picture of our lives as God’s children as we struggle to obtain victory in our lives. Each of the cities we have seen Israel face is a typology of a battle we must fight, and each teaches us valuable spiritual lessons.
Jericho is a type of the world. The world has been defeated on Calvary and we can claim our victory over it.
Ai is a type of the flesh. It too has been defeated by God and the victory is ours for the claiming there if we will but be obedient.
Now we face Gibeon, which is a type of the Devil. This is a battle that still must be fought. However, we have been promised victory in it as well. To obtain it we must trust the Lord Jesus and walk daily in His will. Eventually he’ll get what’s coming to him, but for now we must contend with him. But praise be to God He has left us with a word on this matter. In chapter 9 of Joshua, God recounts Israel’s experience with the people of Gibeon, and we can see a picture of the devil and his devices. And we will see that there is great danger in becoming too friendly with the enemy.
That is the thought I would like to preach on this morning, Being Too Friendly With The Enemy.
I THE ENEMY CAN BE DECEPTIVE (1-13)
A. He Uses Deceptive Wiles (4) – “Wiles” = “Trickery”
B. He Uses Deceptive Wares (4-5) – His tricks don’t come labeled.
C. He uses Deceptive Words (6-13) – He will lie! As a matter of fact he has never told the truth.
II THE ENEMY CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE (14-12)
A. Their Ability To See Clearly Was Disrupted (14) – Joshua stated out skeptical, but gave up his investigation too soon.
B. Their Ability To Seek Counsel Was Disrupted (14) – They fellowshipped with the Gibeonites instead of taking the matter to the Lord in prayer.
C. Their Ability To Stay Clean Was Disrupted (15-21) – They mixed with those God said kill and they dirtied themselves spiritually by doing it.
III THE ENEMY CAN BE DEFEATED (22-27)
A. The Enemy Must Be Confronted (22) – When Joshua discovered what they had done he confronted them.
B. The Enemy Must Be Controlled (27) – When Joshua realized the seriousness of the situation he took the necessary steps to get the situation under control. He can’t kill them, he gave his word, but he can control them.
C. The Enemy Must Be Commissioned (27) – God took his error and used it for God.
Conclusion: Joshua and Israel thought they were making a treaty with people from far away; however, they found themselves shackled to the Gibeonites. Has that ever happened to you? Maybe you are in the middle of it right now. You listened to your flesh, or the devil and now you are in a mess. Why not bring that thing to the Lord and let Him turn your failure into something He can use for His glory? Maybe you’re not even saved. The devil has you! Maybe you would like to come and give your life to Jesus right now and watch Him save your soul and transform you for His glory. If you need Him this morning you need to come as He calls.