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Be on the alert

Now all the kings west of the Jordan River heard about what had happened. These were the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who lived in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far north as the Lebanon mountains. These kings combined their armies to fight as one against Joshua and the Israelites. But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and moldy. When they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.” Joshua 9:1-6 NLT

As the saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This is what happened to the kings of the land when they heard the victories by the Israelites. They formed coalitions against their common enemy. The coalition was formed despite their differences and pooled their resources to fight against Israel. While the enemies of Israel are planning their attack, they affirmed their commitment to God. They expressed their wholehearted allegiance to God and His word. The Gibeonites did not join the alliance against Israel but concocted a different plan. They came to Joshua with craftiness and caught the Israelites off guard. Israel never expected such a confrontation. Gibeon acted with great deceit to secure peace and to save their skins. Gibeon is not that far from Israel. They are just eight miles away from Jerusalem. Yet, in the plan the Gibeonites pretended that they came from a long journey from a far country. They came to Gilgal of all places (v. 6), the camp of Israel, where the people had committed themselves to God and they came in their daring deception. Whenever a Christian experiences special blessing he or she is on the verge of another full-scale assault by the devil. Satan will be relentless to render believers to be ineffective to fulfill their commitment with God. We should not be ignorant about the tactics that the enemy will use. We should not assume that just because we have expressed our commitment to God that Satan will not deceive us. We need to always be on the alert by being prayerful asking God to protect us from the enemy’s attacks. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).



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