We are in a wrestling match. In warfare, there are 2 kinds. We need to remind ourselves that we are involved with a battle of good and evil every day.
Ephesians 6:12 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
When Israel went into the land to possess is, they were led by Joshua. He led the people over the Jordan, and God had divided the land of Canaan into 12 parts. The tribes were to go possess the divided land that God promised. As with everything that God promises you, you and I still have to still go possess it, by driving out the enemies that are there blocking us from his promises in our life. This is where spiritual warfare comes in.
God says I have given you this! But that doesn’t mean that we just sit on a sofa, and wait for it to fall on our lap. We have to go out and fight the good fight of faith.
There are 2 kinds of warfare. One is confrontational, head on, im gonna get you warfare. You face things in life that you automatically know its an attack from the enemy. Your mind is attacked, your heart is attacked, you feel like your gonna lose your faith. Your heart is broken in a thousand pieces. People let you down. You get discouraged. Its confrontational. nothing subtle about it. Its in your face warfare, and you realize you have to stand strong in the day of evil.
Ephesians 6 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
There’s another kind of warfare that is much more dangerous.
Israel learned that as long as they were right with God, no one who attacked them could overcome them, but they came up against someone smarter than them. Someone who tricked them. Here is how it happened.
Joshua 9 When all the kings beyond the Jordan in the hill country and in the lowland and all along the coast of the Great [Mediterranean] Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites heard this, 2 They gathered together with one accord to fight Joshua and Israel.
This is the first kind of warfare. In your face. Mano a mano. Lets do this!
3 But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 They worked cunningly, and went pretending to be ambassadors and took [provisions and] old sacks on their donkeys and wineskins, old, torn, and mended, 5 And old and patched shoes on their feet and wearing old garments; and all their supply of food was dry and moldy.6 And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, We have come from a far country; so now, make a covenant with us.7 But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, Perhaps you live among us; how then can we make a covenant with you?
God Himself had told them not to make any covenants with any of the people(tribes) in Canan . They were so idolatrous, evil and corrupt, they were to take them out if they had to. Among Baal, Ashra, and other Cananite Gods was child sacrifice, and other demonic worship. God had given them 400 years to repent and they never did.
8 They said to Joshua, We are your servants. And Joshua said to them, Who are you? From where have you come? 9 They said to him, From a very far country your servants have come because of the name of the Lord your God. For we have heard the fame of Him, and all that He did in Egypt, 10 And all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the residents of our country said to us, Take provisions for the journey and go to meet [the Israelites] and say to them, We are your servants; and now make a covenant with us. 12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we set out to go to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become moldy. 13 These wineskins (bottles) which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and our garments and our shoes have become old because of the very long journey.14 So the [Israelite] men partook of their food and did not consult the Lord.15 Joshua made peace with them, covenanting with them to let them live, and the assembly’s leaders swore to them. 16 Then three days after they had made a covenant with [the strangers, the Israelites] heard that they were their neighbors and that they dwelt among them. 17 And the Israelites set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim.
18 But the Israelites did not slay them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, [to spare them]. And all the assembly murmured against the leaders.
The Gibeonites infiltrated the Israelites and remained there forever to cause trouble. They could never get rid of them.
This is the other kind of warfare. Deception. One is front on, and the other is deception. Pretending to be something you’re not, wearing a mask. They came to Joshua who was nobodys fool. They said no, we have come from far away, just don’t drive us out. Make a covenant, just let us live in your life. In your land. With you.
What was their strategy? Lie after lie. Clever lies. Look at these sandals, and moldy bread! You think were from nearby? Were from so far away. Here’s the proof.
Joshua should have prayed about this situation. The thought crossed his mind that they might be from nearby, but he went with his senses. Sometimes people or situations may look good on the outside but are designed to destroy you.
The Israelites went by their senses by sampling their provision. They uses a scientific experiment method. Well all signs point to this, so it must be true.
Nobody knows the trouble they caused, or the evil they infected the Israelites with. They married in, with their idol worship, evil hearts, and now they were in the midst of the Israelites. God wanted them to pure and possess the land, but they believed their senses instead of God.
If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, be careful. It might be a Gibeonite.