“Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us… Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves…” (Josh 9:22-23)
Here we see how the Gibeonites deceived the children of God. This is a warning for all! This is the reality: true believers can be deceived and backslide for a time. But please observe that the victory of the enemy can never be complete! There are three major successes the Gibeonites may have wanted, but failed to achieve. The first is that they could not turn back the Jews; they were not able to send them back to Egypt. Secondly, they could not expel the Jews out of the Promised Land. Lastly, they could not stop the progress and destiny of the people of God. Israel continued to do great exploits and finally occupied the Promised Land. At last, Joshua calls the deceivers ‘cursed’ and slaves forever.
The Bible offers us the greatest encouragement. The only way the devil makes the Christian fall into sin is thru deception. No true child of God will sin openly and willfully. A believer may be deceived and fall into sin. For a time, he becomes a backslider. But even so, just like with the Jews, he will not lose its eternal salvation. A backslider loses the joy of his salvation, the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit and great opportunities or rewards for ministry. These are serious losses. But no believer will ever become an unbeliever again and ‘go back to Egypt’. They cannot be uprooted from Christ. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus! If the devil likes it or not, our destiny as children of God shall be fulfilled! This is what I believe!
God works in all things for His glory and for the good of His people. This is how hope: God is never deceived. God will chastise His children. He will eventually bring them back to the Cross and the journey to give glory to God continues. A righteous man or woman may fall seven times but will surely rise again (PV 24:16). This is the promise of God!
Dear Child of God, be encouraged! Even if you fall, you shall rise again. The devil may steal your money or your joy but he has no power to send you to hell! You shall fulfill your destiny! For God’s name and reputation is at stake in your life! God is faithful! God can never lose any battle! He is able to complete and perfect your testimony! For His glory alone! In Jesus name, amen!