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There's much more to warfare than frontline combat. There is the dark world of spies, black ops. military intelligence, propaganda, deception. This is equally true in spiritual warfare. Satan, our enemy, is often presented in his role as deceiver, liar etc. In chp.9 we encounter 2 contrasting expressions of warfare - open & subterfuge, covert & overt.

Know your enemy! "For we are very familiar with his evil schemes". (2 Cor.2/11). Or are we??

 

[1] WARFARE AND ITS EXPRESSIONS (Vs.1-6)

A. OVERT CONFRONTATION

a. This kind of combat is open, organised, predictable, measurable - nothing hidden. In spiritual warfare, our enemy often comes against us openly e. g. Persecution. 1 Peter 5/8,9 presents him as a roaring lion creating fear & panic. Yet such overt challenges have only a limited success.

B. COVERT/DECEPTION

a. A more dangerous form of warfare is deception - involves disguise, camouflage, manipulation.

b. The Gibeonites went to extraordinary lengths to disguise their true identity & the nature of mission

c. Satan is master of disguise & deception - John 8/44; 2 Cor.11/13-15

d. It began in Genesis 3 (2 Cor.11/3) - he continues to deceive & blind the world

 

[2] DECEPTION & ITS SUCCESS (Vs.7-15)

a. Initially, Israel's leaders were suspicious/hesitant (7,8) – they sensed potential trap

b. Key verse in whole story is v.14

*"...they sampled their provisions..." - they checked the outward appearance

* " …but they did not consult the Lord". – This is an amazing statement in light of their past experience Israel was tricked into making peace pact with their enemy –

d. As in chp 7, lack of enquiring prayer led to insensitivity and compromise

 

[3] COMPROMISE & ITS RESULTS (Vs.16-21)

a. The nation has become compromised and this has some predictable results

*Disobedience - Exodus 23/31-33 - they were now unable to be fully obedient. This pact was in direct conflict with God’s covenant

*Tension – (v.18) - between leaders and people - echoes of wilderness dynamics

*Weakness - inner relational tension - potential for a divided people - disunity

*5th Column – presence of "unbelievers" could dilute true faith - even lead to idolatry

 

APPLICATION:

1. Pressure is always on us to compromise our faith and obedience – deception.

2. What spiritual "Gibeonites" are trying to deceive us into making peace with us so they can live & survive instead of being put to death?

3. Col.3/5-10- Paul is emphatic about those attitudes.

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