A Long Journey And A Far Country

Joshua 9:3 – And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,

Joshua 9:4 – They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;

Joshua 9:5 – And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.

Hey readers, new blog today, and a bit of a followup to the past blog, from Joshua 9. The Gibeonites were one of the nations that God told Israel to destroy as they began to possess the promised land. The Gibeonites, like the other nations, were wicked and God suffered very long with them, many hundreds of years in fact and their iniquity was so bad that the Bible says the land itself vomited them out. But anyway! While all the rest of the nations prepared to battle Israel, the Gibeonites instead hatched a plan to deceive Israel, having heard of their exploits, recognizing they were in trouble in direct battle, they instead went the route of attempting to make an alliance with Israel. And they pulled it off with a fanciful story, but really put some effort into selling it. Today we will see that people lie, this world lieth in wickedness the Bible says, Satan is the father of lies, the deception runs strong, and there are several lies to combat today which are very similar to the lie that the Gibeonites successfully sold the children of Israel.

There are many lies out there today, the Bible says let God be true and every man a liar. Because there are a veritable ton of lies flying around today… Ephesians 4:14 – That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive … and the only way we will not be deceived is to get in God’s word and to have the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit) with us and in us. Jesus did say we shall know the truth, it’s not impossible to find at all! and John wrote we have known the truth and the truth is in us and shall be with us forever. And the truth sets us free. There is a lot of freedom in knowing the truth, but not many people have a love of the truth. John also wrote, I have no greater joy that that my children walk in truth. That is the heart of a true father, but most fathers do not pass truth down to their children. Truth is important today, and truth is found at the oracle of God, his word. Want a word from God? You need but open that dusty Bible.

Joshua and the people got into trouble in this story, because they entered into a league with these people, they heard their story, they saw the “evidence”, BUT in Joshua 9:14 we read that they “asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” Trouble. It’s always trouble when God’s word takes a back seat… hey God, I’ve got this, you can sit this one out. This would mean they were stuck with the Gibeonites forever, because they made an oath with them, a league never to be broken. There is a high price to forsaking God’s word, and scars incurred from not obeying and fully following God are permanent. Jesus still has the wounds in his hands where they pierced him. Sin leaves a mark, it left a mark on Cain… and Cain’s descendants today walk in the steps of their father, Adam and Eve’s sin left a mark on mankind. Only a true believer, someone truly born again of the Spirit of God will truly leave this world and it’s sin and it’s evil and wickedness behind, because in Revelation we read that there will be no remembrance of former things, God shall wipe away the tears from the eyes of his beloved. For the unsaved person, evil will leave its unmistakable mark forever. There is no curse broken for the unsaved, Jesus took the curse, he can break the chains, and loose the bands, but sadly, most people, THE MAJORITY of people will not truly come to him. John 5:40 – And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

We want to learn a few things today. The lie that the Gibeonites sold pertained to distance, to furtherness, to a long journey. One of the biggest lies we get sold by the enemy is the furtherness of God, the seeming great distance between him and us. We can often live like God is not real, we put on the Sunday face for a day but our lives show no reality, dead bones inside in the stead of what should be the Spirit of life, that same Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead. Often it can feel God is very far away, very detached from us. Both to unsaved and saved people. How many atheists out there feel that? Sure, the Bible says the fool says in his heart there is no God, Satan has fooled these guys, and made fools of them. But God is near. When Job was reasoning, finally God answered. And God’s answer, which you can read in the latter parts of Job went along the lines of canst thou, knowest thou, hast thou? Think of how small you are, how small we are. God knows each bird, each insect, each star, each grain of sand on the sea, his plans infinitely outrun ours, look at this huge, vast planet which God knows every bit of past, present and future and has plans for and is working his plans out. It is no wonder Job just said he would shut up, he would lay his hand upon his mouth, and abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes.

God will hear, he resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Psalm 51:17 – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. God hears the broken and contrite in heart, those who fear him, those who mourn their sin as sin against holy God, those who see their own wickedness, who despise their deep depravity and rebellion and seemingly without end hardness to God that runs so deep only the Holy Spirit can root it out. The depths of man’s sin is mind boggling. And here’s what God’s word says… Psalms 119:151 – Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. Luke 18:40 – And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him… and in this lies another truth. Unless God draws you, you will not come to Jesus, you can come near to Jesus but you gotta be called first, and they you can draw near. The only way to draw near to God is through Jesus Christ, he is the one and only Mediator between us and God. He is the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by him.

You want God to hear you? You want to know God? Well, it’s not him that needs to bow to you, you need to bow to him. Samson bowed with all his might. You need to 100% yield. He doesn’t come to your side, you go to his side, it’s his team, and he’s the captain and coach. Psalm 34:6 – This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. David knew how to get God’s attention. It’s a lie that God is far away, that he doesn’t hear, that God’s all crusted over and detached from his creation with all the length of human history elapsed. It’s all lies. Jesus liveth NOW, there’s plenty more story to run. The truth is right in front of us, yet people spend a lifetime searching for truth. The truth is right there, the cup of salvation is available for all to freely take of, yet so many people don’t. The Bible says … Ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Elisha told Namaan to simply go and wash in the River Jordan, and Namaan got angry, he thought he’d have to do more. It can’t be that simple! It’s gotta be more fancy! There must be something I can do! The gospel is simple, Christ is simple, the message is plain. The Gibeonites sold this story by making out to be very far away, and from a long journey, you will get fooled by the lies of furtherness, deceived.

The Gibeonites lie was much similar to the lie of evolution. Which is a lie make no mistake about it. And it is an elaborate lie, well backed up by “facts” just as the Gibeonites story was backed up by “facts”. Satan comes for you with lies and his evidence to really sell you. And you go hook, line and sinker. You did not come from a monkey.  God is not a liar. The earth is not billions and trillions of years old. The flood did happen. God created the heaven and the earth in the beginning. The starting point was not a big bang, it was not something from nothing… it was the word of God. Genesis 1 … And God said. A word from the God who is not bound by space and time, a God from everlasting to everlasting, who is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the ending. God’s word is what started it, and what will finish it. Mark it down.

As the Gibeonites lied about their long journey and the far country they came from, the old earth theories are all lies. The evidence is stacked, rigged, twisted, warped and is hidden among some truth just to make it more palatable. It is a story sold well, and evolution has trashed many kids faiths as they go to schools and universities which jam it down their throats and that along with peer pressure and popular opinion and intimidation and their realization only one can be true shipwrecks them forever. Evolution is telling you the same lie the Gibeonites told, that we have come from a very, VERY long journey and a very, VERY far land. The Gibeonites started with a far land, and they saw Israel believing it and said VERY far land. Satan will chip away at you, he sees your eyes bulging and sweetens it even further. The Gibeonites “made out” that they were ambassadors, but they were false ambassadors. They were masqueraders, pretenders, they were not who they said they were. You put your faith in man, in the professors, the elite, and you don’t know if they’re lying or not, but you will be duped. God’s word trumps the word of man. Evolution and Christianity, what the Bible says, are irreconcilable, so either way, you have to choose, evolution and Christianity cannot be reconciled, so choose your camp, but it is one or the other. Believe God or believe man.

Thirdly, God’s word. People believe God can’t keep his word on the long journey from the beginning to now. But he can. God can keep his word and has in fact kept it, pure and preserved for us today. There is a VERY big lie associated today with the lost original manuscripts and translations, and heaps and heaps of new Bibles. Down the rabbit hole of Satan’s lies. And you get your new Bible and you’re surrendering to the Gibeonite lie, and the Gibeonites weakened Israel, just like new Bibles will weaken you… Satan is the weakener of the nations the Bible says. It’s a joke, and people need to dummy up. There can only be one God’s word, God does not contradict himself, God does not lie, God is God, and his word is truth. And the end result is your faith being destroyed, your walk hindered, your view of Jesus distorted. If you change the words of the Bible, you change the image of Christ, because noone has seen him, I haven’t, and you haven’t, our image of Christ is purely formed from the words of the Bible. You change the words you change the meaning, you change the Christ. No wonder Jesus said in the last days many false Christs would arise. Luke 21:8 – And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. And they have, many false Christs have and are rising, it is a proof of the time drawing near, the Bible says the time is at hand, the next thing is even so come Lord Jesus, who says Behold, I come quickly… will he come on you as a thief in the night, as the Judge, or as your Saviour for his bride?

Oh, but you trust in your “iq”, your intellect, your reasoning, or maybe in professors, and phds, and titles… well just as Gibeon was wily (cunning, smart, deceptive), so the Gibeonites today will fool you in a heartbeat if you depart from the truth of the word. They looked the part, played the part, sounded the part… the ONLY way not to be duped was to get God’s word on it… and the one thing Israel did not do. Things are not always as they seem. Isaac felt Jacob’s arms, and thought they were Esau’s and he was fooled. Trust God, and heed his Spirit working through and in perfect accordance with his word, and you won’t fail. God can and has kept his word. It has not been tarnished by the long journey, his bread is never stale, and his bottles are never empty. And for a Christian, a true believer, your command is to keep walking, Christian, and you will make it. And just as the shoes of the Israelites did not fail 40 years in the wilderness, so your shoes will not fail as you walk through this evil world. What failed them was their hard heart of unbelief, not God, who provided for them the whole way and in every way he met their needs, they did not want, because after all… the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He was a good, faithful Shepherd, but they did not enter in, because they were a stiff necked, hard hearted, unbelieving, rebellious people, and they were deceived and over thrown in the wilderness. Don’t let that be your fate today.

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