Deceived by Appearance
In this lesson from the book of Joshua we will look at what happened when the children of Israel were deceived by the Gibeonite into making peace with them. The spiritual application for us from this passage will be that we cannot judge based on appearance.
After the children of Israel defeated Ai the kings of the area came together as one to try and defeat the children of Israel. But the Gibeonites decided to try and make peace with Israel. The Gibeonites put on old clothes and shoes, took moldy bread and rent wine bottles and came to the children of Israel pretending to be from a country very far away. Israel fell for the scam and made a league with them. Then after a very short while they found out that they were actually from the land of Canaan and were part of the people that God had told them to destroy.
What was Israel’s mistake? (verse 14)
Israel did what we do many times they made a decision based on the appearance and did not ask God at all what they should do. How many times have we done the very same thing?
Two interesting words used in the chapter:
There are two words used in the chapter and they are both used in connection with Satan in the word of God. Those words are Wiles (verse 4) and Beguiled (verse 22).
In Ephesians 6:11 we are told to put on the whole armor of God that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Satan has many tricks and traps that he uses to deceive us. Think of the wilily coyote on the old cartoon. He is called that because of all the gadgets and devices he uses to try and catch the roadrunner. As any good hunter knows you have to make your trap not look like a trap. Satan is a master at camouflaging his traps so that we cannot judge them based on appearance.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3 we see that Satan beguiled Eve in the garden. When we look at the process Satan used in the garden with Eve we see that he questions the word of God first. Israel had not been told by God to make a league with anyone. But when the Gibeonites came with this idea they did not even ask God about the matter. Satan also told lies to Eve just as the Gibeonites told lies to Joshua. Then we see that with Eve’s temptation the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise. If we are not careful we will do just like Eve and be beguiled by what we have heard and what we have seen.
The solution for us is the same as it would have been for the children of Israel. Don’t make your judgment based on what you have seen and heard without getting counsel from God. We must ask God about everything whether we think it is a small matter or a large matter. It is the only way to not be deceived.
Deceived by Appearance : Handout
1) Give a brief description of what is going on in the passage.
2) What was Israel error in this event?
3) What are two words that we see in this passage that are connected with Satan?
4) Why can we not judge based on appearance?
5) What is the solution for things that look good but may not be as good as they look?