Part of our daily devotional this morning looked at Joshua 9 and the lessons that should be learned from the Israelites’ approach to the Gibeonite deception. Oh, that we might learn the lessons ourselves!
D. A. Carson writes,
“First, many believers who have the courage to withstand direct assault do not have the sense to withstand deception. That is why in Revelation 13 the dragon has two beasts — one whose opposition is overt and cruel, and the other who is identified as the false prophet. That is also why in Acts 20 Paul warns the Ephesian elders not only of rapacious wolves that will try to ravage the flock of God, but also of the fact that from among their own number men will arise who will ‘distort the truth’ (Acts 20:30) Such people never announce what they are doing: ‘We are now going to distort the truth!’ The danger they represent lies in the fact that they are viewed as ‘safe,’ and then from this secure vantage they advocate ‘progressive’ positions that distort the Gospel. The deceptive power may be tied to such overt tricks as flattery — the very device used by the Gibeonites (9:9-10). In our day, deception becomes all the easier to arrange because so many Christians are no longer greatly shaped by Scripture. It is difficult to unmask subtle error when it aligns with the culture, deploys spiritual God-talk, piously cites a passage or two, and ‘works.'”
We must continue to be Bereans. And encourage others around us to do the same. Only when we personally examine the Scriptures will be able to recognize the deceptions. Subtle.
And though others might not want to hear the truth, we must warn them. And we must heed the warnings of others.
Lord, give us ears to hear.