Tempted to Compromise with the World

Joshua 9

Jerry A Collins




*               Does spiritual victory usually lead to greater spiritual battles?

*               How does temptation motivate to act?

*               Is compromise with the world our greatest ongoing challenge?


Each of us will encounter various temptations all throughout our lives. Temptations toward sex, money, gossip, slothfulnesstemptations to sin. James says that when we encounter these temptations we know that they are things that never come from God. The world, Satan, and our sin nature all tempt us. God is never an author of temptation because by its very nature temptation is an enticement to do something contrary to the nature and will of God. An old Englishmen stated that I have found this out about sin: it is first startling, then pleasing, then easy, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then obstinate, and then destructive, and then it brings only death! So we should not be deceived about the possibility of temptation in our lives. Joshua 9 displays several principles relating to temptation from the Gibeonites deception of the Israelites.


The kings of Canaan in the middle and south areas of the country gathered to fight against Israel. So the inhabitants of the land geared up for the coming assault by forming a confederacy. Notice that just as the previous inhabitants of Jericho and Ai, there is no repentance or recognition or belief in the God of Israel. Only self-centered interests in spite of knowledge they had of this God. And the battles Israel will face are even more threatening and ominous because of the previous ones they have fought and won. It is like that spiritually too. We gain the upper-hand spiritually by overcoming some kind of sin in our lives only to encounter even greater spiritual challenges and warfare as a result. Our old nature is never changed or reformed. It is the same sinful nature we were born with. It is just as sinful and rebellious in our latter years as in our earlier ones. And, so the battles intensify and the spiritual challenges increase. On this side of the grave we can never expect a reprieve. It is only when our old sinful nature is finally eradicated in eternity that we will be set free from the outbursts of our sinful nature. But we can know victories. But the battles will never disappear. And greater ones await us as we grow in our spiritual lives. (Use the old nature graph here).


Temptation is just as effective on intelligent or well-educated people as it is on ignorant unlearned people. When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua did they did something different. They intrigued against Israel and this scheming provides insights into the nature of temptation for us.

(1) They also acted craftily 3-4. They took worn-out wineskins, old clothes. Temptations will usually not appear as something wrong. Sin is clever, not stupid. It is not a temptation if it is not in some way tempting. They knew that to approach Israel bold-faced as her enemies would not work. It may not seem wrong to cheat if that is what everybody in the business is doing to make a profit.

(2) They had old bread that was dry and crumbled, worn-out sacks, mended clothes, and patched sandals. All of it fake but as temptation does, it is usually deceptive in some way. The deception is what is necessary to get you to begin considering the path it wants you to take. The same thing happened with Eve. It will happen with us.

(3) They went to Joshua at Gilgal 6. Temptation comes to us. We do not need to go looking for it. It comes while we are minding our own business. It does not need an invitation. Temptation is inevitable not avoidable. Something as innocent as receiving more change than you should have, unexpected and unanticipated, can be a temptation.

(4) The men of Israel said, Perhaps you are living in the land. Temptation is often given only a surface examination. This is the same thing that happened to Joshua, the leaders and the people in Chp 7 when they failed to examine the situation before battling against Ai and attacked the city with little forethought.

(5) The men of Israel did not ask the counsel of the Lord 14. The pivotal point for our falling into temptation is when we do not get our counsel from the Word of God. Jesus answered every temptation in the wilderness with Scripture. He confronted temptation with a correct understanding of the Word of God. We should never ignore the Bible when confronting temptation nor Should we change its meaning add to it or take away from it but to know it and apply it specifically to the temptation we are facing.

(6) Joshua made peace and a covenant with them to let them live 15. Temptation is victorious not when we give in to it but when we make peace with it. It is making peace with something we should go to war with that is so wrong. We should go to war against the sin temptation entices us to indulge. We must never cave into and never make peace with the temptation.

(7) After their covenant, they found out they were neighbors 16. At a certain point, a good person (a man or a woman of God) will realize that they have been taken in by temptation. Usually the consequences we experience will enlighten us to the temptation we have succumbed to.

(8) The whole congregation grumbled against the leaders 18. Temptation can usually be best identified and dealt with when a whole network of believers is looking at it. Moral and ethical sensitivity is best dealt with by a network of believers not just leaders

(9) Josh asked the Gibeonites why they deceived Israel. The response is that they will be slaves to Israel19-22. After one has given in to temptation, then all that is left to do is damage control. But damage control is important. Once you have sinned, there are not too many good options. You juts have to do the best you can then.

10. They gave an explanation to Josh. They said it was because they did not want to be destroyed by Josh 24-25. The explanation of sin from the standpoint of the one who is committed to it always sounds good from a humanitarian perspective. If you leave God out of the evaluation, it sounds good. For example, why shouldnt I live with him/her? We love each other and need to see if it will work out before married or why shouldnt women be elders? Theyre gifted too?

Compare Rahab & Gibeonites:

(1) Both believed Josh would conquer land because God commanded so thru Moses.

(2) Both either hid the truth or lied.

(3) Both had self-preserve motive.

(4) Both were preserved.


(1) Rahab believed Josh would conquer before he began. That is, the Gibeonites saw and believed. Rahab believed without seeing.

(2) Rahab lied to enemies of Israel and helped Israel to win victory. Gibeonites lied to leadership of Israel and di not help Israel at all.

(3) Rahab was commended for her action in NT. Gibeonites were not.

(4) Rahab became part of Israel. She was grandmother of Boaz and line of Mesiah. Gibeonites became slaves of Israel.

1. Compromise with the world will always be our greatest ongoing challenge. For the maturing believer who does not commit adultery or lie or steal or kill or worship idols or gets drunk, the ongoing challenge will be to not make deals with the world.