Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Moldy Bread Deception

In Joshua 9 we read the account of the Gibeonites, a Canaanite tribe, who deceived Israel in order to enter into a covenant (a treaty), because the Gibeonites feared Israel.  These people had heard what God had done in Eygpt, they had been told that God had given Israel their land, and the stories of the destruction of Jericho and Ai were still very fresh in their minds. Naturally the Gibeonites did not want to be next. 

Rather than engaging the Israelites in battle, which they determined would be futile, they devised a plan to trick Israel.  The Gibeonite plan was to dress up ambassadors to make it appear that they had traveled a great distance.  The charade included moldy bread and torn wineskins to give the deception credibility.  Apparently they understood that God made allowances for Israel to enter into alliances with distant countries, but not with the people who lived in Canaan.  The Gibeonites hoped to survive by deceiving Israel.

Joshua and the leaders of Israel did fall for the ruse and entered into a treaty with the Gibeonites, a treaty they honored in spite of the deception on the Gibeonites part.  The Israelites allowed the appearance of things to distract them from reality. This is the description we find in Joshua; So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord (Joshua 9:14; NLT).  When we follow common sense or what appears to be true to our five sense there is a chance that we will be deceived.

I believe that as Christians we are vulnerable to make alliances with people and parties that we have no business with making an allegiance with.  One of those allegiances I think we get sucked into is the allegiance to politics. Sometimes this has to do with a political party, and other times it has to do with a particular candidate or an agenda.  The result is that we are distracted from what God has called us to do as we put time and effort into something that is of less importance.

The last presidential election cycle there were many Christians who have been deceived by Presidcent Obama's moldy bread rhetoric of hope and change.  They believed that this man would usher in change and bring hope to people.  Let's be honest, that was nothing more than political rhetoric, and after nearly four years of President Obama we realize very little has changed.

True hope and change doesn't happen through the policies of government, but through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus brings hope and change to people regardless of the type of government they live under.  Change that brings living hope is only found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not a politician who is able to make more promises than what he can keep.

Other Christians have been distracted by conservative promises of pro-life and pro-marriage platforms.  There is nothing more precious in this world than human life, and we need to fight for it, but we should have learned by now politics is a poor vehicle to make that happen.  The Republican party, despite of what they may say, is more interested in being in power than in protecting life.  If they can make a promise to secure your vote then they will do it.  When we get deceived by the moldy bread of a political party we will give them our allegiance and give time and money to get the "right" people elected and miss out on really touching the lives of other people.  The greatest thing that we as Christians can do to stop abortion and end the charade that is homosexual marriage is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the lives of other people.  As the truth changes their lives, so will their views on life.

God has given us a great opportunity in this country to be able to participate in the political process.  I think it is something that we need to stay informed on and to vote when we have the opportunity.  I also think that it is dangerous to give our allegiance to a party or a candidate.  The greatest hope this country has is the Gospel on Jesus Christ, which has the power to change the hearts of people.  Our allegiance must be to Jesus before anything else. 

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