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Joshua 9:3-10:43

Israel begins to embark on that slippery slope of compromise as they continue their “walk” with God. They seem to be aiming for God’s Permissive Will instead of His Perfect Will. It doesn’t take much to go off on a tangent. Start out being just one-half of a degree off the “mark” and by the time the week is out you will find yourself way off the target, let alone the bulls-eye. They began to walk by sight, sense and circumstance instead of by faith, Spirit and the Word. Not learning the lesson from the Ai disaster, they failed to seek God’s insight before they made covenant with people of Gibeon.

Israel was warned by God to completely remove all the people of the land, " 'But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. (Num 33:55)

We are warned to put away evil but we convince ourselves that certain evil we can keep because, “Well it ain’t that bad. Ya know it kind of looks like something we shouldn’t be doing but it isn’t really because it look. See it’s all dried up and moldy, this sin ain’t dangerous.” I wonder if this is somewhat like the Parable Jesus told that states while men slept (emphesis on the word slept), the enemy sowed tares amongst the wheat? Cleary Joshua and the leaders were sleeping when they failed to 1) consult God, 2) made their decision about the Gibeonites based only on the information given to them by the Gibeonites, and 3) failed to acknowledge again that it was God who gave them their victory and not their own strength and military brilliance. So too it is with us, it is all about God and nothing about us.

Luke 16:19-17
29 "But Abraham said, `Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'

30 "The rich man replied, `No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'

31 "But Abraham said, `If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.' "

All of us probably can be divided into two groups, a Lazarus group and a rich man group. We either is or we ain’t going to be at one of two locations when we die, and the choice is ours to decide where we will go.

I’m not so sure that it is hardness of heart that stops us from hearing the Words of Truth. I think it can be that we have heard the Words of Truth and ignored them for a long time causing our hearts to become hard, like the sun constant rays backing soft soil into hard dry clay.

Several years ago a passage from the Book of Job, spoken by Job, caught my attention because I believe it speaks of our ability to know truth when we hear it spoken,
“Is it not the task of the ear to discriminate between [wise and unwise] words, just as the mouth distinguishes [between desirable and undesirable] food?” (Job 12:11 AMP). In the first chapter of Romans, Paul writes in several places about “exchanging the truth for a lie.” (Rom 1:25) In order to exchange something one must have possession of it in order to participate in a swap. The Rich Man thought that Lazarus’ coming back from the dead would convince his brothers. Jesus said no it wouldn’t because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God not seeing the things of God, or miracles. The Rich Man and and his brothers heard the truth, they simply chose to ignore it.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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