Beware the enemy of self-confidence when God gives you a victory or you experience long awaited answers to prayer. After the victories at Jericho and Ai, God’s enemies choose to use deception rather than military might to achieve their desired outcome AND THEY WERE SUCCESSFUL. Israel’s self-confidence led to two mistakes.
1. They trusted their own discernment rather than seeking the Lord’s wisdom.
Josh. 9:11-14 “Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us. This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy: And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.”
2. Their senses were swayed and tricked into compromise when they should have remembered God’s word through Moses.
V15-16 “And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.”
-This was in direct opposition to what Moses had warned them about in Deut. 7:1-2 “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them”
LESSON - More often than not, God‘s people are defeated because of deception. Satan has the ability to make that which is wrong LOOK right. He has the ability to make that which is right FEEL wrong. It is for this reason we must not allow our senses to be our primary source of discernment. Even when things seem right and logical, we must pray and seek God’s counsel about everything. 1 Thes. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” Also, before making decisions, consult God’s word. If there is a contradiction between our opinion and God‘s word, the Bible must take precedence. 2 Cor. 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight”. Don’t allow self-confidence to lead to poor decision making! By taking the steps mentioned, you may avoid consequences which could potentially be long-lasting.