Endtime Ministries...Christian Resource Centre...
despatch@mail.cth.com.au  ... http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/
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No. 178
From Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
Access Online  http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Main/tabco_main .htm

Getting to know God together.

There was a knock at the back door of Lucy’s house one day. She opened it, and there was a man in old clothes and a grey beard. He had a battered hat on his head. “Is your mother home, little girl? “ he asked. Mum came to the door,  and the man said to her,” can you spare some money for a poor old man?” Well, Mum was a Christian, so she gave the man ten dollars to help him out. Later that week Lucy saw the same man with good clothes on, and he was getting out of the driver’s seat of a really nice car! That night on television they heard that a man was making a lot of money posing as a tramp. He was going to houses and pretending to be poor. Lots of people were giving him money and food. He pretended he was travelling, but he only lived locally.

There is a story a bit like that about the Gibeon-ites in the  Bible. These men came to God’s servant Joshua. You can read about it in Joshua 9:3-16. They put on a real act for Joshua. They had heard that Joshua had won victories over other places, Jericho and Ai, and they were angry and got cunning!  They were afraid he would fight against them. Here is some of what the Bible tells us about it:
“ And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily [cunningly], and went and made as if they had been  am-bass-a-dors [coming from far away], and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent [ torn ], 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.”
( Joshua 9:3-5).

Those men from Gibeon pretended to be coming from far away because they wanted to hear more about the One true God:
“ Joshua said unto them, Who [are] ye? and from whence come ye?  And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt, “
(Joshua 9:8,9).

The men from Gibeon said they wanted to make a special bond with Joshua. They said they needed food and provisions because they had travelled so far! Oh the fibbers! Those crooks got food, wine, clothes and shoes out of Joshua and his people  the Israel-ites. You see the Bible tells us the people of Israel and Joshua didn’t ask God what they should do about the beggars! Bad move! We should always ask God to guide us into the right decisions about things we do. This will always save us heart-aches and sorrows. Did the men of Israel know in the end where those Gibeon-ites came from and who they really were? This is what the Bible says:
“ And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation [leaders of Israel] sware [made promises] unto them. And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league [special agreement ] with them, that they heard that they [were] their neighbours, and [that] they dwelt [ lived] among them. “ (Joshua 9:15,16).
Israel couldn’t fight with those smart fibbers now, the men from Gibeon, because they had promised to make peace with them!  We should always ask the Lord God to be our Guide and Helper. We should never do things without asking Him to lead us into the right ways to act.

“For thou [God] art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.”  (Psalm 31:3).

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