Dealing with the Devil's Deceits
In just a brief review, you'll recall that when the children of Israel went over to the Promised Land, they ran into three enemies. In those confrontations we also see how God used their attack to teach them spiritual lessons, as well as to possess the land.
First, they ran into Jericho. Joshua had a very real reason for coming there. Jericho was right in the middle of the Promised Land. He wanted to drive a wedge in, and then build a beachhead to spread on out into the Promised Land. But his first enemy was Jericho.
The second one was Ai, Northeast of Jericho. They conquered Jericho, and then fanned out to the northeast.
The third was the country of the Gibeonites, or the Hivites. That was to the South of them. It was important to cover that, in order to take the ground they needed to establish firmly their foothold in the Promised Land. Jericho spiritually represents the world. Ai spiritually represents the flesh, and the Gibeonites spiritually represent the devil. In the New Testament, God's Word says that our enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil. When we look at this passage, spiritually, and as we look at Joshua, looking also in the Book of Ephesians which is its contemporary in the New Testament, we are going to understand that what happened to the children of Israel was to teach us spiritual lessons as well as them. It also helps us come to grips with our own pilgrimage in the world, because we are strangers and aliens in this world and we have to know how to deal with it spiritually in order to overcome it.
Briefly, the story in Chapter 9 is this: After they'd conquered these other two places, this group of men, who represented the tribe called the Gibeonites, came to Israel and told Joshua that they were from a far country, being from a far country, they heard of all the mighty deeds that Israel had done and they wanted to make peace. They said, "We just want to give in before y ...
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