sermonette: Joshua and the Gibeonites
The Fruit of Deception
David C. Grabbe
Given 04-Jul-20; 18 minutes
Deception harms both the deceiver and the deceived. Deception of any type (e.g., false evidence, charm, and flattery) leads to enslavement. The Gibeonites' pretense of being strangers from a distant land in order to save their lives resulted in their slavery. Yet, through their influence on their 'captors,' they were able to drive a wedge between Israel and God, which ultimately led to Israel's captivity. Sin in any form inevitably leads to slavery and separation from God. Joshua, Saul, and David all brought curses onto themselves and their people by not seeking God's counsel when confronted with deception. Not everything that happens is God's will; God has allowed countless sins to follow through to their grim consequences. If we feel that we must disguise our behavior, we are not doing God's will. If we feel that we must surreptitiously use an entrance other than the front door, we are not doing God's will. If we feel compelled to "leverage" others to accomplish our objectives, we are not doing God's will. Putting up false appearances is not of God. God decries both sides of the deception game (overtly deceiving or gullibly being deceived). If we want to remain free of enslavement, we must continually seek God's counsel whenever we are tempted by charm, flattery, or deception.