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Hoodwinked (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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October 12, 2020 6:00 am

Hoodwinked (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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October 12, 2020 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 9)

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How we get caught by looking at, well, the fact.

It's a moldy bread. That is a fact. But join it to the story. Now there's no truth. The truth is that they're not from a country far away or a land far away. They're from the Promised Land. What a lesson that is for us. Get confirmation.

Get to the bottom of it on serious matters. Today, Pastor Rick will begin a brand new message called, Hoodwinked, in Joshua Chapter 9. Joshua Chapter 9. It's been said that Satan plays with loaded dice. In other words, he cheats. He cheats so he can harm. Not just so that he can come out ahead or enrich himself. His goal is to harm people. A little different from what's going on in the story, but what is not missing is the fact that God's people can be deceived.

Satan is known in the Bible as the great deceiver. And these are some of the lessons we're going to hopefully draw from this ninth chapter. The people of God had come through two large combat campaigns in Jericho and Ai, and with that would be Bethel also, included with Ai. But those were conventional engagements.

They were not ready for unconventional warfare, which is what they are faced with now. Warfare, in this sense, being moved away from the commandments of God. God commanded the Jews to wipe out everybody in that land. And they're not going to be able to do it entirely because of the events in Chapter 9. And Satan's kind of people, of course, had failed to stop the Jews, those in Jericho and those at Ai and Bethel.

Face-to-face, hand-to-hand combat, sword-to-sword, however you want to phrase it, it was not effective. It did not keep God's people from obeying God and taking territory in this promised land. So he tries something different, Satan does, less dramatic on the surface, but it is deception through civility.

It's kindness, nice words, but they're lying to God's people. So Satan changes his tactics. He adapts so he can overcome. And we're supposed to do the same thing in life.

We're supposed to adapt to the situation so that we can overcome for Christ. In the book of Numbers, in Chapter 31, we read about how Satan adapted and altered his methods of attack on the Jews through Balaam, who was once a prophet and became a false prophet. And of course, Balak, the king, wanted Balaam to curse the people of God so that Balaam could destroy them because they were coming his way, and Balaam could not do it. So Balaam walks away saying to Balak, I couldn't curse them, but here's what you do. Here's how you bring them down. Instead of sending your armies out against them, send the women.

Numbers 31, look. These women caused the children of Israel through the Council of Balaam to trespass against Yahweh in the incident at Peor. And there was a plague among the congregation of Yahweh. It was a consequence. So Satan changed his tactic, and it was successful to some degree, not entirely.

And we need to know this. Jesus, dealing with those, is it right to pay taxes? And of course, when he says, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, give to God what belongs to God. And when Jesus says, bring me a coin, whose image is on that coin? And that's when he says, of course, give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

Well, whose image is on you and me? It should be the image of Christ. If we give to Christ what belongs to him. So at that time, Jesus, it says in Luke 20, perceived their craftiness and said to them, why do you test me?

Always, you know, the radar is always on, scanning the horizon, looking for the bogies coming in. That's what Jesus was doing, always ready. And we're to learn from that in Ephesians 4. We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.

And yet, Christians, not all of us, many who named Christ Lord, are constantly going for the latest fad. Oh, what's new? Let's do this. Okay, we're done with that.

Okay, let's do this. Tossed to and fro. That destabilizes strategies, the witness, the work that we're called to do. 2 Corinthians 11, Paul wrote to them and said, I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. How many people try to complicate Christianity?

Just take it and turn it into this thing that is, who can keep up with it? When that's not how it's been delivered to us in grace. One more time from Ephesians 6, as we're dealing with, of course, deception, being hoodwinked, being tricked. We're not ignorant of Satan's devices. He appears as an angel of light.

It's the devil nonetheless. And so Paul says, put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. And that's what this ninth chapter illustrates for us. Instead of just coming out and saying all the things that I just said, it does do it that way, it also gives to us a picture book.

I know some of you prefer picture books. Verse one, and it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of Jordan in the hills and in the lowland and all the coast of the great sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Pezorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite heard about it. Verse two, that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord.

Well, they couldn't afford two cars, so just one accord. All right, going back up to verse one. Remember, Jericho represented the world in its resistance to the arrival of God's people. Ai, of course, represents the flesh and Gibeon represents, in this context, the deceiver, Satan. And the people of God will be in this chapter lulled to sleep by the visible.

Man, that is spooky. The things they're looking at are deceiving them and they're not getting it. Joshua, the great general, is probably his only mistake, really.

I really can't count Ai against him with Achan stealing the stuff, but this one belongs to him. And we don't say that to bash any of them. We say that to recognize the Holy Spirit has preserved the story just as it is every word for our edification. We would be better able to serve the Lord, that we would learn in the school of the Bible, physical sight and reason deactivated their spiritual senses and the ability to exercise dependence on God. Sight and reason did them in in this chapter. Now, nothing wrong with sight and reason, so long as you see also the Lord and reason, his word. But without those, without the word, without the Holy Spirit for us Christians, we are flying by the seat of our pants.

I'll get back to that little phrase later on. Verse two, that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord. And so they allied themselves to defy God's people. A resistance that is practiced to this very day. We're not surprised no matter where it comes from, when someone is resisting the army of truths that are presented from Scripture.

And that's what it always comes down to. It seems that they don't believe the Bible or don't want to believe the Bible. And so long as that wall is up, that's where the fight is going to be the heaviest. Well, these inhabitants, the Hivites and well, not the Hivites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, all the others, they're not going down without a fight. They're circling their wagons and they're doing it together. They formed an alliance. Their resistance is adamant.

They're not going to give in. Self-willed and self-destruction, which self-willed leads to why God is so against it in the lives of his people. But the Hivites, also known as the Gibeonites, they opt out of this alliance. They say, you know, we want to make love, not war, the hippie kind of thing.

But it works for them. Verse nine. But when the inhabitants of Gibeon, the Hivites, heard that Joshua had, what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they worked, verse four, craftily and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, old and patched, verse five, sandals on their feet and old garments on themselves. And all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.

Yum, yum. Well, verse three says the inhabitants of Gibeon. And I've been saying that the Hivites, because Joshua 10, verse two, tells us that.

You can look there or listen to me read it. Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai and all its men were mighty. I'm sorry, I told you that I was going to point out that they were Hivites. That comes actually in Joshua 11, verse 19. There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon, all the others they took in battle. And so I wanted to point out Joshua 10, too, to make us remember or mindful of the fact that Gibeon was actually five cities and they were great cities, as it tells us in chapter 10. Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai and all its mighty men.

So this city hears about Ai going down. Even though they're bigger and stronger, they're saying this ain't going to work. They knew the history. They knew what the Jews had been doing long before they reached the Promised Land. They knew what they were doing on the east side of the Jordan to the other kings. They were formulating in their heads. They were weighing it out.

How many councils did they call to try to get to an agreement amongst themselves on how they were going to deal with this juggernaut? That's what you want Satan's armies doing, being on defense, not offense. And, of course, when you are on offense, when you're doing the attacking as a Christian, you're going to get counterattacked.

So it's not, you know, it always goes together. So where he says in verse 4, they worked craftily, went and pretended to be ambassadors, and they took sacks on their donkeys, of course, with the old wineskins and worn-out sandals. It's just a sight that all the props are in place. They're in character because they're pretending that they've traveled from a distance and they're not one of the inhabitants of the land. So while the Jews were in the Valley of Shechem, worshiping God there at Gerizim and Mount Ebal, honoring him for their victory at Bethel and Ai, the Gibeonites were putting together a survival plan. And while the other inhabitants scrambled to fortify their cities against the approaching Jews, Gibeon reasoned, if you can't beat them, join them.

And that's exactly what they're going to pull it off. Remember now, this in Gibeon is one story. Being deceived by the Gibeonites caused the people of God to disobey God. That's bad enough.

But here's the rest of the story. Satan is trying to get us to do more than just disobey God. He is trying to destroy us through temptation. He continues in verse 5, And they took old sacks, old wineskins, torn and mended. And it is interesting that Israel, part of their strategy in defeating Ai was a faint retreat. They faked out the Ai, you know, those of Ai to pull them out of their cities and then they turned back and destroyed them. Well, here now, they're falling to a faint in their work to obey the Lord.

They become victims of the same things. These chaps in Gibeon, they were thorough. But what they gave the Jews in these wineskins and sandals and such were facts without truth. How we get caught by looking at, well, the fact.

It's a moldy bread. That is a fact. But join it to the story. Now there's no truth. The truth is that they're not from a country far away or a land far away. They're from the promised land.

What a lesson that is for us. Get confirmation. Get to the bottom of it on serious matters.

I mean, you can pull this off in the morning with blue socks or black socks. I mean, you don't go and try to get on your knees and figure that one out. But the serious matters in life, you bet we take these to the Lord. Have you ever noticed you say to someone, well, let me pray about it. Then you can sense they're a little frustrated because they want the answer now.

They know you can't pray about it. I don't want to wait. I want you to say yes. And that is an indication to say, no, not right now.

I'll get back to you. And then you can kind of enjoy them writhing in impatience. It's like, oh.

Well, no, you shouldn't do that. Verse 6, thank you, Lord. There's always another verse to get out of something. And they went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal.

Remember, that's where the shame was rolled away. How profound a thought that is. And said to him and to the men of Israel, we have come from a far country.

Now, therefore, make a covenant with us. Well, they're lying. We know that. But can anybody blame them? They can stand and fight and go down like A.I.

and Jericho, or they can come up with a plan like they did. Jesus, he told the story. He said, you know, the sons of this world, they're crafty. They think. They use their noggin. Christians come along, they don't think. Not all of us, but many of us. We get emotional.

God's going to provide when God is given no indication he's going to provide. And we take a step out when we shouldn't take a step out. And you learn. You fall and say, you know what, that didn't work. I don't want to do that again.

Next time I'm going to be pretty, pretty careful. Then the steward said within himself, when his master caught him up to no good and was about to fire him, what shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig. I am ashamed to beg.

I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. So he called every one of his master's debtors to him and said to the first, how much do you owe my master? And he said, a hundred measures of oil. So he said, take your bill, sit down quickly and write 50. Then he said to another, how much do you owe? So he said, a hundred measures of wheat. And he said, take your bill and write 80. So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly for the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

And certainly Jesus is not condoning, stealing, or lying. What he was doing is, how much do you owe my master? A hundred bucks.

Write down 50. And the person that writes down 50 said, I like this guy. He's looking out for me.

So that when he gets fired, he can go to that guy, hey, can I have a job? Yeah. You see, that's the crafting. I can't beg. I can't dig ditches. All I am is, you know, I can do the books.

You can cook them too. And Jesus said, do you see what they did under pressure? Do you see what that man did?

He used his noggin. And he tells a story in such a way that the disdain in us makes us remember the story. Our Lord is sharp, sharp. That's what we're to get out of this story here in the book of Joshua, that we are to use our noggins and not take things for granted, to see it through, to apply ourselves. In verse 7, Joshua 9, then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, perhaps you dwell among us, so how can we make a covenant with you? It's worded as though Joshua knows they understand this.

And they do understand this. When we get to verse 24, it comes out that they knew all about this. At this time, at this moment, as Joshua is talking to them, he doesn't know they're Hivites. That's the narrator of the story, is giving us that. Jerusalem is not Jerusalem yet. It's Jabez at this time. And at the end of this chapter, of course, he's going to say it's Jerusalem, but that they will serve into Jerusalem. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself. My point is, Joshua records the story for us, but it is put in this format by editors, and there's nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

There's not any corruption there. But just so you know, Joshua doesn't know that these are Gibeonites. And now the Jews, of course, were to be the hammer of God, just like we are to be the hammer of God on lies. They were to be it on whole peoples because of their lies. We're to be the hammer of God on lies that come up against Christ and hammer them out.

That's not true. We tell the unbeliever, where did you hear that about Jesus Christ? Jesus was married. No, he was not. What book did you get that?

What other dumb things you got? That's how you go about purging the devil's influences out of souls, is by confronting them with the truth that they would otherwise not be confronted with. Anyway, the Jews were to purge the land through the sword, exterminate the land, Deuteronomy 20, verse 16. But of the cities of these people, which Yahweh your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive. I think that's pretty clear. But you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Pezorite, and the Hivite.

That's these people. That's the commandment right there from Moses, handed on to Joshua. He goes on in the Jebusite, inhabitants of Jerusalem. Just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, not suggested, commanded, lest they teach you, he gives a reason, he says, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations, which they have done for their gods, and you sin against Yahweh your God. He's saying they're going to leaven you, they're going to convert you. You're going to lose souls. Now, before I forget, because I don't have this, well, just before I forget, I'm forgetting it while I'm talking. It says here in verse 7, perhaps you dwell among us, so how can we make a covenant with you?

That's a valid concern, of course. We don't want to violate the Lord by making a covenant with you if you, in fact, are in the land and you're tricking us. Do you know what I noticed thieves will do? Well, I worked one time in a very bad neighborhood for a long time, and I worked up on a lift so I could see the street-level action from high up, and there were times we could see thieves in action, and they would walk, and someone would look at them, and they'd act like, okay, I've been caught, and walk away, and they'd turn right back around and steal what they were trying to get because they knew the other person felt you chased them away with the look. He looked at them, they made eye contact, and, okay, I'm leaving.

Good, I scared them away. Walks back in his shop, comes back, grabs whatever he goes, and he's gone. Well, here we have a case of Joshua thinking that he is giving a thorough investigation and chasing away any thoughts that these people are deceiving him, but he is wrong. It's a valid concern, but he's not going to see it through to the satisfaction of the Spirit.

He failed to investigate it all the way. He has the idea, but that's all he does. He doesn't go the rest of the way, and I think that individuals, households, and whole churches are still doing this. We're all susceptible to it. We link up with spiritual contraband. Something that doesn't belong inside creeps in. It was brought in, and it's not dealt with. If a congregation or a household or an individual understands the basics of this, then you have a chance, a better chance, of them pushing it out. Someone coming to the church with false ideas about Christ, if they're in the lobby, and after service, you fellowship, and they bring these things up, and you start hammering back. No, wait a minute. We don't believe that.

That's what has to happen. Somebody, some child comes home and says, hey, look what I found out about Jesus, and he shares it, and the parents or the other siblings say, that's not biblical. That's wrong, and it's dealt with.

But it's when it's tolerated, excused, or permitted that it becomes a problem, and that's what is going on here. So the lesson that we would say to believers, if the Lord does not say so, then it must go. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Joshua. Cross-Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville in Virginia. If you're interested in more information about this ministry, please visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com.

You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. Just search for Cross-Reference Radio in iTunes, Google Play Music, or your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the links at crossreferenceradio.com. We're glad we were able to spend time with you today. Tune in next time to continue learning from the book of Joshua, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-03 20:55:14 / 2024-02-03 21:05:06 / 10

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