Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Deception



by Dan Jones


There is a very interesting story told in Joshua 9.

Joshua and the children of Israel had just defeated Jericho solely by marching around it, shouting, and praising God. They had crushed and obliterated the city of Ai.

The fame of the LORD and His power spread and all the kingdoms before Joshua and Israel prepared to wage war.

That is, except the Gibeonites.

They appeared to be next on the list of peoples to be conquered and wiped out. But instead of preparing for war, they sent a delegation to Joshua wearing worn-out sandals and carrying moldy bread. The delegation said, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.” They claimed that they had journeyed a long distance to make peace with them because they feared the power of the LORD. They showed the Israelites the false evidence they had brought with them.

The Bible says, “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.” (Joshua 9:14 NIV)

In other words, they took the evidence at face value, but did not ask God to reveal the truth. They trusted in what they were told and fell for fake evidence planted to substantiate the lie.

So Joshua made a treaty with them and the assembly ratified it.

Shortly thereafter, Joshua and the Israelites found out that the Gibeonites had lied. They were not from a long distance away, but were actually their neighbors.

When confronted with their lie, the Gibeonites confessed that they were acting totally in their own self-interest. But, it was too late. Israel had already sworn an oath to the LORD.

As we enter into the political season, many candidates will be presenting evidence of who they are—or at least of who they want us to believe they are.

They will present themselves as our servants, but some will be looking out solely and entirely for their own self-interests.

They will entreat us sincerely of their honesty, despite some having a past record of unfair, deceptive, or even crooked and greedy intentions.

They will dress and talk in ways to make us believe one thing, when an entirely different thing is true.

They will even ask us to closely examine the evidence they put forth—while conveniently leaving out any evidence to the contrary. And, if such evidence is presented, they will loudly and soundly cast doubt and shame on that evidence and on those who bring it forward.

There will even be those who will spend enormous piles of cash to figure out exactly how to soothe all the itching ears that want to hear smooth and pleasing words.

At least one, while claiming to be a Christian, has admitted he has never asked God for forgiveness of any sin.

To my way of thinking, that’s kind of like claiming to be a paratrooper while seeing no use at all for that heavy and unnecessary baggage called a “parachute.”

In other words, it’s politics as usual.

And so, brothers and sisters, let us be very, very careful not only to consider the evidence each candidate presents on their behalf, but also to fervently and diligently inquire of the LORD.

Today’s Praise
The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33 ESV)

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