The Danger of Deception

12:16 pm deception, lying

Consider two important facts.  First, no liars will be in heaven (Rev. 21:8).  Second, no one who believes a lie to the exclusion of the truth will be in heaven (II Thess. 2:11-12).  Being deceived is not an excuse for disobeying God.  Herein lies the danger of deception.
The Deception Perpetrated By The Gibeonites.
The Gibeonites were among the Hivites who feared Israel at the beginning of the conquest of the land of Canaan by Joshua.  They disguised themselves in an elaborate way and pretended to be from a far country when, in fact, they lived in Canaan.  In Joshua 9:4-5, their elaborate disguise is recorded, “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; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.”  They were able to deceive Israel because of this disguise.  The disguise obscured the truth about their identity and so helped with the deception.  The men of Gibeon sought a treaty of peace with Israel in order to spare the lives of their people.  God commanded Moses to utterly destroy them (Deut. 7:1-3).  Joshua was supposed to carry out this command which was the result of the justice of God against these people due to their iniquity (Gen. 15:16).
The Deception’s Success
In Joshua 9:14, we are told why the deception succeeded.  “And the men took of their victuals and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.”  You cannot discern a lie without knowing the truth. You cannot know the truth without consulting the word of God.  This neglect on the part of Joshua and Israel makes them culpable for believing the lie.  They are not innocent in this matter.
The Deception’s Danger
We are vulnerable to lies when we fail to consult God’s word.  If we believe a lie, we will transgress the commandment of God.  Joshua and Israel transgressed the commandment of the LORD and failed to carry out the justice God required against the Hivites.  The result is that they entered into a covenant with the Gibeonites that God forbade and this permitted them to live among the Israelites and influence them (Num. 33:55).  “But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.  Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.”  Israel’s disobedience led to their own eventual destruction.
A sure defense against believing a lie and being damned (II Thess. 2:11-12) is to love the truth and cleave unto it.  “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

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