Intro: Some kinds of ants, according to observers, adore the sour, glandular substance released by a large blue butterfly caterpillar. It's possible for them to become so "addicted" to it that they even look for "the supplier" and carry him excitedly
to their nest. However, the caterpillar only eats ant larva, so they accidentally bring home a disguised foe. Normally, a threat like this to the colony would be repelled with a lot of force, but the adults are so used to the tasty secretions of the "guest" that they don't notice that their young are being eaten. I began to notice similarities between the story of the foolish ants and what the Bible tells us about Joshua and Israel in Joshua chapter 9 as I read it. Israel becomes too friendly with their enemies in these verses. After defeating the city of Ai, the Israelites are getting ready to advance further into Canaan to claim the promised land that the Lord had promised to them. As I previously stated, they have just won. In fact, they have recently achieved a few impressive victories. They have witnessed the defeat of the troublesome little town of Ai as well as the great walled city of Jericho. Israel, on the other hand, needs to learn a valuable lesson about not becoming too friendly with the enemy before they can ever win again. We can draw a parallel between our struggle for victory as children of God and the battles and tales associated with Israel's conquest of Canaan. I can easily see the similarities between the battles Israel fought in the flesh and the battles we fight in the spirit when I read the Bible's account of these events. In fact, each of these cities they encountered teaches us something spiritual. 1. In our walk with the Lord Jesus, we have the promise of victory over the world in 1 John 5:4, which says, "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and our faith's victory over the world is embodied in this." 2. Ai is a representation of the flesh. It, too, was defeated, and Romans 7:24-25 promises us victory in the flesh as we fight for the Lord Jesus: "O wretched man that I am! Who will free me from this death's body? Through Jesus Christ, my Lord, I praise God. Therefore, I myself serve the law of God with my mind; but the sinful code of flesh." 3. Gibeon, a type of the devil, must still be defeated in this battle. However, victory in this area has also been promised to us. We must have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and daily obedience to His will in order to obtain it. James 4:7 says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God." He can be defeated. The devil will leave you if you fight him. The devil will eventually receive exactly what he deserves! Rev. 20:1-10. However, we must still fight him today. Thankfully, the Lord has not abandoned us in this matter. The devil and his schemes are depicted in this passage, which describes Israel's encounter with the Gibeonans. As we will see, making friends with the enemy can be dangerous. That is the idea I want to preach about for some time this morning. As we consider the idea of being too friendly with the enemy, let's examine this passage. The enemy can be deceptive (Ill. Note verses 1-2) in I. V. When they heard what had happened to Ai and Jericho, all of the kings of Canaan came together to fight against Israel. It amazes me how the followers of the devil band together to oppose God's people. Take a look at how Jesus' enemies treated Him. Despite their animosity toward one another, the Herodians and Pharisees united in their desire to see Jesus executed. The friendship between Herod Antipas and Pontius Pilate was another one that developed as a result of our Lord's passing. These kinds of alliances are still being formed today!) A. V. 4 He Uses Tricks The Gibeonites devised a plan to deceive Israel into signing a peace treaty with them when they heard that the Israelites were heading in their direction. They carried old bread and wine, carried old clothes, and pretended to be from far away. To deceive Israel, they did everything in their power. (Ill. What a picture of the devil, our foe! In Eph., the Bible informs us. 6:11 that our adversary uses "wiles" to gain control of our lives. "Deceit, trickery, and cunning arts" are the meanings of the word "wiles." Friends, it's clear that Satan would prefer nothing more than to entangle you and lure you into one of his traps. According to Luke 22:31-32, just before Jesus died, He told Simon Peter that Satan wanted him so he could sift him like wheat. Satan intends to do the same thing to each of us. He desires our downfall. He will do anything to ensure that we fail, and he wants us to fail. 1 Tim. According to 3:7, Satan catches his prey with "snares." A trap set by a hunter to capture his prey is what this word means. Therefore, Satan employs the same deceptive techniques as the Gibeonites.) B. V. 4-5 He Uses Tricks The Gibeonites had done everything in their power to fool Israel into thinking they were from a faraway land. On their donkeys, they carried shabby clothing, old sacks, broken and bound wine skins, patched shoes, and even some moldy bread. Their primary objective was to deceive Israel. (Ill.) Allow me to remind you that the devil does not appear to you dressed in a red suit with horns and a pointed tail when he attempts to entice you or confuse you. He won't have a pitchfork on him, and he won't smell like sulfur. 2 Corinthians says that the devil will appear to you as an angel of light whenever he comes to your life to trouble you. 11:14. He will make it appear as though his plan is the best thing for your life. Therefore, resist any and all urges that come your way. The Lord will always direct you in the right direction if you follow His will and the Word of God. C. V. 6-13 He Uses False Language - Pay attention to the fact that these men from Gibeon lied in these verses, verses 6, 9, 11, and 12; They claimed to be something they were not, verses 8 through 9; Also, they were careful about what they said in verse 10 (They didn't say anything about what had happened since Israel crossed Jordan, giving the impression that they had been traveling for a while). (Ill.) Once more, this portrays our adversary, the devil, perfectly. To persuade you to accept his plans for your life, he will use elegant and enticing language. When he spoke to Eve in the Garden of Eden, Gen. 3:1–6, he engaged in this kind of trickery. In verse 1, he informed her that she could question God's Word; Verse 3: He informed her that God did not really mean what He had said; V. 5: He informed her that God was really just waiting for her. To put it another way, the devil will provide you with every possible justification for the actions he wants you to take. After that, he will discard you like a piece of trash and leave you to rot in your sins when you have followed him and are out of God's will and in trouble! I'm unsure: 1. What specifically did the devil tell Cain to convince him to kill Abel? 2. What exactly was the devil trying to convince David to have sex with Bathsheba? 3. What exactly did the devil tell Judas to convince him to betray Jesus? 4. What has the devil previously told you; And what is he currently telling you? Ill, because, as 2 Cor. According to 2:21, Satan will employ every ploy in the book to persuade us to follow him and fail as a result in order to achieve his goal of gaining an "advantage" over us. Take care! What the devil is up to this morning is described in 1 Peter 5:8. He desires you. He cares about your family. He needs you to testify. He would like your church. He wants it, and he will do anything to get it if you have it and it comes from him! I. The Enemy Can Trick You II. V. 14-21 THE ENEMY CAN BE DESTRUCTIVE A. V. 14 Their Ability To See Clearly Was Disrupted - Joshua was initially skeptical of these so-called ambassadors, as you can see in verse 7. In verse 8, he asked them about their origins once more. Joshua deserves praise for being cautious, but he gave up a little too quickly! Joshua was more than impressed and believed the Gibeonites' story when they showed him their clothes, food, and the broken wineskins! (Ill.) If the Lord has done anything for His children, it is that He has provided us with a flawless Bible and a powerful Spirit. When it comes to fighting the devil, these two items give us a distinct advantage! We can accomplish what 1 Pet. does by relying on the Bible and the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit. We can be "sober and vigilant," according to 5:8. These phrases convey the notions of self-control and watchfulness. It is not necessary for you to believe everything the devil tells you! John 8:44 says that he is the father of it and a liar. We don't have to fall for his schemes, folks! We can, thank God, triumph over the devil if we remain sober and vigilant!) (Ill.) My friends, when you neglect prayer and the Word of God, your spiritual vision becomes dim, making you very vulnerable to the lies and deceptions of the enemy. When we neglect the very things that are meant to strengthen us, it is impossible to defeat him! In Eph., the Bible informs us. 4:27, which instructs us not to give the devil "place" in our lives. A beachhead is the subject of this word. You can rest assured that the devil will come after us if we allow him room in our lives to attack! To ward off his attacks, we must always be alert. He shouldn't even be allowed a foot in the door! B. V. 14 They lost their ability to seek counsel. Israel ate with the Gibeonites and did not even pray about the situation. At the time, sharing a meal with someone was seen as a sign of enduring friendship. But what they thought was right turned into a problem because they didn't pray about it or wait for His response. They broke God's will as a result, and they had to deal with the consequences! (Ill. How many times have you and I experienced this? Without even seeking the Lord's will in the matter, we look at what the devil has to offer us and join him. Other times, we set the odds in our favor to the point where even the Lord's attempts to persuade us to change our course appear to be His blessing on our choice. This morning, I'm trying to tell you that you need to make sure that you are hearing the voice of the Lord and not the voice of the devil or even your own flesh! We should seek His face and give Him time to respond, according to God's will! What is the Lord's message? Ex. 14:13; " Keep still and observe the Lord's salvation..."; Isa. "But they who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength," says 40:31. They will mount with eagle-like wings; They will run without getting tired; and they'll be able to walk without falling." "Wait on the LORD:" Psalm 27:14 be courageous, and he will bolster your spirit: I say, wait on the LORD. You get the point now! People are expected to seek God's will and wait for His response! C. V. 15–21 Their Ability To Stay Clean Was Disrupted These verses demonstrate that the Israelites' decision to join forces with the Gibeonites harmed their ability to stand apart from the Lord. According to Deuteronomy 7:2, "And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee;" God had instructed them to completely exterminate the inhabitants and not make any covenants with them. You will strike them and completely eliminate them; You must neither make a covenant with them nor show them mercy: Israel, on the other hand, broke this command and sinned against the Lord. (Ill.) Before we judge them too harshly, let's take a moment to evaluate ourselves. How many times have we disobeyed the Lord and followed Satan? 2 Cor. clearly lays out the Lord's will for our lives in the Bible. 6:17 says, "Therefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the thing that is unclean," so leave them alone. and I'll take you in." However, the flesh, the word, and the devil all too frequently distract and defeat us.) (Ill.) If you let him, the devil will shape you up so badly that the Lord will not be able to bless or use you at all! This morning, I can think of a lot of preachers who gave in to the devil's call and ended up being castaways from the work of the Lord. Are you sure it won't happen to you? Just inquire about what the devil can do to your life by asking David, Israel's sweet singer and man after God's own heart. If you follow the devil, you may, like David, find yourself in a position of prayer pleading with God to restore your joy in life and heart, Psa. 51:12. That should not take place in your life! Make the necessary preparations to defeat the devil and walk away victorious!) I. The Enemy Can Trick You II. Third, the enemy can cause disruption. V. 22-27 THE ENEMY CAN BE DEFEATED A. V. 22 The Enemy Must Be Confronted - When Joshua discovered what these people had done, he immediately confronted them about their sins and rebuked them. (Ill. The church can learn something from that this morning. While the devil molds us to his will, we do not have to roll over and pretend to be dead! We need to follow in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus, who, when He was being tempted, turned to the Bible and confronted Satan with the truth of the book, forcing the devil to flee from Him! Friends, Satan is unable to tolerate the truth! He will leave you alone if you confront him with the Bible! B. V. 27: The Enemy Must Be Controlled: Joshua and Israel's actions toward the Gibeonites were without a doubt incorrect. However, errors need not result in permanent ruin. Joshua acted right away to control the situation as soon as he realized how serious their actions were. They have given them their word, so they can't kill them, verse 19. but they are under their control! (Ill.) Both of our lives will occasionally stray from the Lord's will and commit sin. That's simply a fact! However, the mistakes we make when we follow the devil do not have to last forever or completely destroy us! Thank God, the Lord has promised us complete repentance and restoration if we return to Him. Gal. reminds us that the consequences of our sins must be fully realized. 6:9, but we can reconcile with the Lord and faithfully serve Him.) (Ill.) In order to avoid falling back into the same traps, we must learn from our mistakes and sins! Either we or they will have control over our sins! Which it is depends on your goals for life and who you are. Where there is repentance, there is forgiveness! C. V. 27: The Enemy Must Be Committed - Take note of Israel's treatment of the Gibeonites. They took them and put them to use transporting water and cutting wood for the Lord's Tabernacle. Joshua capitalized on his error for the Lord's glory! According to 2 Samuel 21:2–6, the Bible even says that these people eventually reconciled with God and became part of the nation of Israel. Joshua used his error to serve God! (Ill.) Will we both fail the Lord throughout our lives? Probably and frequently! However, our errors and sins do not have to prevent us from participating in the Lord's work! We must allow the Lord to use the time of sin, correction, repentance, and restoration in our lives when we fail for His glory. If you will allow the Lord to have His way with your errors, what the devil intended for your defeat can become the source of your greatest victories. You can't undo what you've done, but you can bring it to Jesus and allow Him to use it to help you become more like Him. When these people were brought to the Lord and began serving Him, what at first appeared to be a curse for them turned out to be a blessing! (Ill. Please do not misunderstand me; in no way am I attempting to glorify sin. I'm trying to convey to you that you do not have to let your failures define you forever! Grace from God is greater than your errors! This morning, let Him demonstrate it!) Conc: Joshua and Israel were under the impression that they were entering into a treaty with people from a faraway land. However, they discovered that they were bound to a Gibeonite! Are you familiar with this scenario? It's possible that you are right now caught up in it. You're in a mess because you listened to your flesh or the devil. Bring that to God and let Him transform your failure into something He can use for His glory. You might not even be saved. You are held by Satan! You might be interested in coming right now to give your life to Jesus and watching Him save your soul and transform you for His glory. Come when He calls this morning if you require Him!

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