Summary: Joshua #7
“IN LEAGUE WITH THE DEVIL”
One of the things that brings Satan more cheer, more than anything else, is when he defeats the people of God. Oh, he’s happy to keep certain people in bondage, minds darkened and hearts veiled... But I think the thing that really thrills him is to keep God’s people discouraged, defeated, & disagreeable because we are really no threat to him then.
...No threat to a lost world, because there is no joy of Jesus Christ.
Satan likes to get us so preoccupied with our problems that we have no time for lost people, no time to share Jesus Christ, no motivation for it, because we’re so wrapped up in our own problems.
And Satan uses every tactic at his disposal...anything and everything. For example, he likes to see us so concerned about a problem that we’re convinced it’s just too big for God. He likes to see us pessimistic.
Just like the Israelites when they sent out the 12 spies and 10 came back saying, “We’ll never be able to do it!”
Then, just when we see God work out our problems, Satan uses another tactic: OVERCONFIDENCE IN SELF. We begin to think that we can tackle anything. “This one’s no problem. It’s a snap!” We saw the problem with that thinking last week, didn’t we? So when we leave God out of the picture, we fall flat on our faces.
And just when we learn that we can’t do it ourselves, but need to depend upon God, Satan comes along to tempt us to sin. He would like to see us give in to sin because he knows that when we have sin in our lives, we break our close fellowship with God...we lose contact with the power of God...
we don’t have any peace. And he knows that w/o peace, we have no power.
In our study thus far in Joshua, we are hopefully beginning to learn how to deal with these problems. We have learned at Jericho that we must obey God even though we don’t always understand why. We have learned from the experience at Ai that God wants us to deal with sin in our lives. We have learned that we cannot expect God’s blessing, nor answers to our prayers, unless we deal with our sin.
So, we’re growing now...learning how to live the Christian life when we soon discover that Satan has yet another tactic up his sleeve to use against us. The parallels here to the Christian life are really uncanny. The tactic Satan used on the people of Israel is a tactic Satan continues to use today. This tactic is seen in Joshua 9. Please turn there in your Bibles.
(Read passage and then go through the outline)
Let’s look first of all at...
I. THE METHOD OF THE ENEMY (9:1-13)
(Background to passage)
God had told the Israelites to utterly destroy the Canaanites back in Deuteronomy 7:1-6
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-- 2and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’S anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
You see, there was the real danger of intermarriage and idolatry.
Now the people who lived to the southwest of where the Israelites are here (the Gibeonites) had heard about this. See Joshua 9:24
They answered Joshua, "Your servants were clearly told how the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this.
They had also heard of the victory God provided at Ai. See Joshua 9:3
However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai...
Result? They were afraid...afraid to die. I mean, death is a fearful thing for those who don’t know where they are going when they die.