DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
One of my greatest weaknesses is discernment. When someone tells me something, I take what they say at face value. I believe what they tell me. So I’m having to learn I need to exercise more discernment in dealing with people.
Many people dream of being famous. But success brings dangers that are very subtle. When a person or group experiences a victory, it seems that everyone else wants a piece of their victory. They want to join the inner circle of the successful and famous. Rather than honesty, openness, and transparency, they use flattery to develop relationships.
After the children of Israel defeated Ai, Joshua brought them back to the basics. He lead them to return to worship and an exposition of the Word of God. Still, the enemy will always attack when we think we’re strong. And Satan will attack through the most subtle means.
Israel had enemies who staunchly opposed them. The Scriptures say, “Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things — those in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Great Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites) — they came together to make war against Joshua and Israel” (Joshua 9:1, 2). Those were the direct enemies of Israel, but they were not the greatest to be feared. The children of Israel had a history of defeating the powerful. No enemy is strong enough to stand in the face of God.
But another enemy was much more subtle. This enemy decided to use flattery, not the machines of war. There were a group of people called the Gibeonites. They knew they were no match for God’s people. So they decided to flatter them — and through their honeyed words entice the children of Israel into a covenant. They said to Joshua and the men of Israel, “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of Him: all that He did in Egypt, and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan — Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us”’” (Joshua 9:9-11).
Instead of seeking God and asking Him for wisdom, Joshua and the men of Israel entered into a covenant with the Gibeonites. They were deceived. But Joshua quickly corrected the situation. There are several truths we can learn from the way Joshua handled his circumstances.
First, as soon as he realized what had taken place, he confronted the deceivers. There’s only one way to deal with deception: with truth. Too many Christians are afraid to deal with deception. They would rather run and hide. But if we are going to be all that God intends, we must confront the lie with the truth.
Second, though Joshua had been wronged, he kept his end of the bargain. He had entered a covenant, and he refused to break that — even though the Gibeonites had lied to him. That translates into character. It gave Joshua an opportunity to become more like the coming Christ. Even when we are faithless, God remains true to His Word. Joshua did the same.
Finally, Joshua allowed God to deal with the Gibeonites. They became woodcutters and remained woodcutters at the place God directed — and they remained that for a long time. God’s discipline was what was needed for the moment.
We, like Joshua, will fall on many occasions. If we are to walk and live in victory, we must learn to do what Joshua did. For victory comes from the Lord.
26) But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. 27) You grumbled in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28) Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.’” 29) Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30) The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31) and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” 32) In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, 33) who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. 34) When the Lord heard what you said, he was angry and solemnly swore: 35) “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your ancestors, 36) except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.” 37) Because of you the Lord became angry with me also and said, “You shall not enter it, either. 38) But your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage him, because he will lead Israel to inherit it. 39) And the little ones that you said would be taken captive, your children who do not yet know good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40) But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a]” 41) Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country. 42) But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’” 43) So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44) The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah. 45) You came back and wept before the Lord, but he paid no attention to your weeping and turned a deaf ear to you. 46) And so you stayed in Kadesh many days—all the time you spent there.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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