Summary: Knowing how the enemy operates is the key to overcoming.
Text: Joshua 9:1-27
Title: “Our Crafty Adversary”
I. The Enemy Is Deceitful (1-5)
• There are those kinds of people and situations that confront us that are straight up.
o These are the ones whose intentions are clear, they want to do us harm and it’s obvious.
o The Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite banded together to confront Israel, but at least they knew who and what they were up against.
o (Aside note) It was Israel’s disobedience that lead to this point that the nations were uniting against them, Josh. 5:1
o Even though they had been forgiven that sin, it doesn’t mean they still didn’t have to live with the consequences of it.
• And then you have people and situations that are like the Gibeonites.
• They decided to take another approach.
o The Gibeonites dressed up like wayward travelers, so that the Israelites would make a covenant or treaty with them.
o The lesson this teaches us is that things are not always as they appear.
• Our enemy Satan works in the same manner.
John 8:44 -- 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
II. The Enemy Is Persistent (6-13)
• Joshua and the elders detected a hint of misgiving here.
o Why would people from a far off country need a peace treaty with Israel?
o Especially since they were only to drive out the inhabitants of Palestine.
• However the enemy doesn’t let reason or concern stand in his way.
• Even those who are trying to stop God’s plans recognize God’s power and authority.
James 2:19 -- 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
Acts 19:11-13, 15 -- 11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”
• That knowledge of who God is and what God is doing does not stop them from pursuing their own desires.
• We need to be just as persistent as the enemy in carrying out God’s will.
James 4:7 -- 7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
III. The Enemy Will Be Revealed (14-20)
• The truth was there for the Israelites to see, but instead of asking God to show them they trusted their own perception instead.
o They saw the old clothes, the moldy bread, and the torn wineskins and were convinced.
James 1:5 -- 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Proverbs 3:5-6 -- 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
• The truth came to light, but it was too late, they could no longer be 100% obedient to what God had instructed them to do.
• The congregation complained because their leaders had gotten them into this mess because of their bad choices.
o Notice what the rulers do not do, vv. 19-20.
o Even though the first decision was wrong and entered into by error; it did not change their responsibility to honor the right thing.
o Sometimes we think well if I get into a situation by mistake then I am somehow excused from fulfilling my promise.
o The example of marriage.
o Two wrongs truly do not make the situation right.
• Israel had to live with the consequences of their bad decision.
IV. The Enemy Will Be Punished (21-27)
• Again even the enemy understands God’s purpose and knows what God has said.
• The Gibeonites were made to be servants to the Jews all the rest of their days, this was their punishment.
• We know too that our enemy, Satan, has already been defeated but He will too be punished for all eternity.