The Joshua Machine, working under the power of the Lord, went out and completely destroyed the people living in the Promised Land…except one group of people from Gibeon. They heard tales of the Lord’s power and feared for their lives, so they resorted to trickery to save their lives. They put on old, worn down clothes, packed moldy bread and old wineskins, and presented themselves to Joshua as travelers who came a long distance, seeking peace.
Joshua and the Israelites examined their food — but they did not consult the Lord. As a result, they ended up making a vow before the Lord to be in peace with the Gibeons…who lived a mere three days journey away.
There are times when we have a big decision to make that we examine all the angles we can see…but do we stop to consult the Lord about those angles we can’t see? If we don’t, we, too, will be easily deceived.
Deception led us into the purchase of a home. We had a newborn baby and were moving to a different town and pretty much bought the house sight unseen. It was a spec home. My brother visited it for us and gave it a thumbs up…except for its location. It’s backyard abutted a country road. I asked the realtor about it, and she assured me that it was a quiet country road with very little traffic.
Did I consult the Lord? Did I pray about it? No. I was a new mommy who needed a roof over her little baby’s head yesterday. I had clothes to wash and dry and a baby who needed a bath NOT in a nasty hotel bathtub.
We bought the house and soon discovered that the “quiet little road” was a busy thoroughfare, especially during rush hour. We could smell the exhaust fumes every time we stepped out in to the backyard. When we moved to a different city, it took us six months sell that house because of its proximity to the road. We were deceived and believed the realtor (who had a stake in our decision) without taking the time to thoroughly pray.
Our ultimate defense against deception is prayer and the Word of God. The Lord will not lead us astray.