Joshua 9:1-15

The Dangers of Walking By Sight


When God promised the land of Canaan to Moses, God SPECIFICALLY told them that they were NOT to make any alliances or treaties with the inhabitants of the land. (Deut. 7:1-6)

A)Instead, they were to UTTERLY destroy them


B)The reason for this command was the people whom they would find living in the land would be involved in perverse life styles & religious Practices


C) They sacrificed infants to their false gods. They worshipped their gods in all sorts of sexually perverse acts.

1) The very nature of their religious practices meant that they would eventually wipe themselves out


D) God wanted every aspect of that to be REMOVED from the land.

1)Because God knew that if ANY of that was to remain that it could eventually infect and destroy His people.


E) So God ordered that the people & their religious practices to be destroyed

Their places of worship destroyed./ Their idols destroyed.

1) The knowledge and  of those people and their practices were to be TOTALLY driven from the land.


F) There could be NO covenants... NO peace treaties with them.

So The UNGODLY influences could not co-exist with God's people


Now The Gibeonites FEARED the people of God

A)When the Gibeonites heard of the conquest of Jericho and Ai, they knew that their number was up.


B)They got together and said:  "We are facing extermination" "We either make a treaty of peaceful co-existence or we die"

1) Devised a Plan of Deception: Make it look like come from far country….

                 Clothes tattered / shoes worn / Bread moldy

C) They were careful to only mention the Victory over Egypt /Amorites & those Kings who were defeated when Israel was in the Wilderness 

1) If they talked about the recent stuff – Crossing the Jordan / Jericho / Ai – give away the fact that they lived near by {Gibeon only 25 miles from Gilgal


D) Now The plot was successful because of what we are told in v.14 that  Joshua & the  leaders of Israel  DID NOT SEEK the counsel of God.

1) Had Joshua INQUIRED of the Lord, the Lord would have REVEALED the deception to them.


The Bible declares in Prov 3:5,6

Trust in the Lord w/ all your heart & lean not to your OWN understanding / in ALL  your ways acknowledge Him & He will direct your paths


A)They made this UNGODLY ALLIANCE because they trusted in their own judgment and DID NOT inquire of the Lord.

1) It was All because Joshua and the elders based their decision upon what APPEARED         to be OBVIOUS to them


B)"Just look at that bread... ANYONE would know that these guys   would have to be from a far away place to have their bread so moldy"

1) "Just look at their shoes and their wineskins and their clothes"


C) They made the Grave Mistake of Walking by Sight instead of by Faith

1)    But Paul declared concerning the Christian: 2 Cor 5:7 That we are those who walk by faith and not by sight – or feelings


D) We are not to be those who are led & directed only by our physical senses

1 Jn. 5:4 we are  told whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world; our faith.


E) Note the victory is not in how we FEEL about something / it is not in OUR feelings or emotions /  but in our faith !

1) It is in what we believe to be true about God/ So Learning to walk by faith & not by our sight/feel is an essential part & vital part of the Christian life

Most PEOPLE naturally walk by SIGHT

A)They have a saying  “Seeing is believing,” 


B) But the person who walks by sight is one who usually places value on what he can see –

1)    Like a Child – you come to : In one hand you have 10 quarters / in the only hand you have one small Rock of solid gold { You say Choose


C) Nine times out of Ten – He will pick the coins – because they are bigger and there are more of them

1)That is the nature of the natural man – He places value on what He can see


D) But the man of faith places value on that which is unseen / He will Value those things that God places Value on{ Eternal reward - Heaven

1)   Intangible  things like Character / Integrity / Knowledge of God



The Person who walks by sight is typically short sighted – Like the child building sand castles down at the Beach –

A)He will spend all day pouring buckets / fetching water / shaping his master piece – completely un aware of the incoming tide/ that will destroy it


B) He spends the day – sweating building – forgetting that – He will not be able to take his masterpiece home w/ him

1)   And it won’t be there when he returns in the morning


C) So is the plight of the person walking by sight – So much time spent on temporal pursuits –

1)    So much time spent on that which they can’t take home w/ them – can’t take it into eternity – that which is only going to burn & Dissolve


D) But the person who is walking by faith – believes what the Bibles says about laying up treasure in Heaven

1)    They realize that there is more to this life that what meets the eye – that there is a whole another realm { Heavenly realm that is Everlasting

The person who is walking by sight will lack Vision: They will be Stagnate / they will play it safe

A)Most of the world – was in that place up until 1492 – they believed the world to be flat – when they set sail they would only go so far


B) But there was one – Columbus who believed there was much more to this world that God had created than what man could see –

1)   And under much debate & Criticism He set sail to Prove his Critics wrong


C) Columbus was a man of faith – who was willing to Dream – a man who believed in the BIGNESS OF GOD!!! –

1)   Which led him to conclude there had to be more to this planet – than what they previously considered 


The Person who walks by faith is not afraid to dream – they are people of Vision

A)The Person of faith  is one who says “there must be another half to the world; I am sure there must be another land beyond the sea, so I will take up my anchor, and turn my helm, and try to find it.”


B) I will allow the Lord to lead me – to expand my Horizons – to Increase my Borders !!!!


C) Also The Person who is walking by sight can be easily deceived – because they don’t see things as they really are

1) CHS – tells the story of a time when he & a friend came to climb a mountain in Switzerland – His friend looked at the mountain – thought take us maybe an hr


D) It took them 5 ½ hrs of steady toiling to climb the mountain – The Problem was his friend was looking at the Mt based his thinking on what he knew of the mountains in England – Measured this Mt by that – He was Deceived


E) Joshua & the Leaders of Israel made the same mistake – they based their decision purely on sight & what they were hearing/ Result Deceived 

So the Natural man walks by sight – basis his decisions on feelings & emotions / Has Faith only in what he can see / Faith is mostly in himself

A)But the Christian is one who is learning to walk by faith- not by sight


B) He is learning to be one who is controlled and moved by something other than his physical senses/  the spirit of God in his heart


C)But where does this walk of Faith Start:  Well in the book of Heb in Ch. 11 v.6 we are told  without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.


D) Notice this tells us that the person who is going to walk by faith must be one who Believes that God is – God is What: Several things



1st That He is: Must believe in His Existence: we must believe that there is  ONE GOD – who is the Creator & Sustainer of the Universe

A)Now Scientists try to deny the existence of God / they tell us that this planet just Happened – the result of  a big bang -


B) Although it is true that God’s existence cannot be proven scientifically

1)   It is Equally true that there are scientific laws that point to the existence of God


C) For instance The law of cause & effect, States that for every cause there must be an effect.

1) But If you keep pushing further & further back for causes, eventually you will end up with an uncaused cause. The only un-caused cause is God.


D)This is the argument used previously by the writer of Hebrews: "For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God" (3:4).



Another Example is the law of Entropy According to the law of entropy, the universe is running down.

A)If it is running down, then it is not self-sustaining. If it is not self-sustaining, then it had to have a beginning.


B) If it had a beginning, someone had to begin it, and we are back to the uncaused cause.

1) There must be a first cause, for which only God qualifies.


The law of design also indicates that God is.

A)When we look at plants and animals in all their marvelous intricacy, we see hundreds, thousands of amazingly complex designs that not only function beautifully but reproduce themselves perfectly.


B) When we look at the stars, the planets, the asteroids, the comets, the meteors, the constellations,

1)   we see them kept precisely on their courses by centrifugal, and gravitational forces.


C) Such massive, marvelous, complex, & wonderfully operating design demands the existence of a designer. The Design points to a designer


D)Your  Car – didn’t begin as a snail that evolved – or  the result of a Bang

1)   My Watch – Box – explosive - 


E) I love the Story of Newton’s Friends – His model of the Solar system

1)    After weeks of debates trying to convince them that God was the Creator Newton came up w/ an idea


F) So the Starting Place is to believe that there is a God – Creator of this planet & of you and me


2nd We need to believe what the Bible says about Him – that He is OMNIPOTENT – All Powerful –  that He is Sovereign

A)He is not subject to anyone else’s whims or Laws – He functions as He pleases / How He pleases / when He pleases –

1) But He does that in a way that is in complete – alliance w/ His Character


B) God in His Sovereignty made man as a Free moral Agent – Capable of making Choices – God was not going to force His love on man

1)    Choice – God Choose those who would follow Him on the Basis of His Foreknowledge – knowing who would Choose Him { Winners


C) How can He do that – He is Sovereign { He does what He wants to & what – He does is always Right

1) He is over the affairs of Man & Not Controlled by them !!!


3rdly It means that we must believe that He is Omnipresent –

A)God has the ability to somehow be everywhere at one time – He is all encompassing – Here – also at CCOSCD/ NC / CCCM / Japan


B) David Declared there is no where I can flee from your Presence{ No where to run / no where to Hide

1)It is for that reason that I don’t want – The Awesome reality of the Omnipresence of God – Filled David’s heart w/ Praise


C) If God is everywhere it means that He is near to my needs – He sees my circumstances – He is aware of the Challenges I face


4th I Believe that He is OMNISCENT – He is all Knowing –

A)He has all the answers – He knows the hearts of Men – He Knows – the right Direction –


B) that he perceives the wishes of our hearts,—that he is aware of all that we say, and all that we think.


Man’s problem has been  that he tries to fashion God out of His own idea

A)In his book, Your God is Too Small, J. B. Phillips describes some of the common gods that people manufacture.


B)One is the grand old man god, the grandfatherly, white-haired, indulgent god who smiles down on men and winks at their adultery, stealing, cheating, and lying.


C) Then there are the resident policeman god, whose primary job is to make life difficult and unenjoyable.

1)Then there is the private & exclusive sectarian god. { Stand offish


D) The Epicureans [the Philosophers of the 1st century]  held the theory that God had a great many things to do of far more importance than listening to the prayers of men and women,


E)And yet that is not the teaching of the Scriptures.

1) The Bible declares that He counts the hairs on our head, and notices the falling of a sparrow to the ground;


No the God of the bible is one who is seen as being intimately interested in the Lives of His People

A)Which is why the writer of Hebrews declares the person living by faith doesn’t just believe that God is –


B) But that He is also the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him

1)   We must recognize God as a personal, loving, gracious God to those who seek Him.


C) We must believe that God is not some impersonal force – but He is loving & personally – that He wants to be Known –

1)   He desires to be loved & to show love !!!



Einstein said, "Certainly there is a God. Any man who doesn't believe in a cosmic force is a fool, but we could never know Him."

A)Brilliant as he was, Einstein was wrong. We can know God.


B)In fact, in order to please Him, we must believe that He is personal, knowable, loving, caring, moral,

1)   and that He responds graciously to those who come to Him.


C) Both the old & New testaments are filled with teachings that God not only can be found but that it is His great desire to be found.

1) David said to his son Solomon, "If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever" (1 Chron 28:9). 2)"Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth!" (Ps 58:11).

3)"I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me" (Prov 8:17).

4)"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer 29:13).


D)Jesus was very explicit: "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it shall be opened" (Luke 11:10).


E) So It is not enough just to believe that He is. We must also believe that He rewards those who seek Him.


Now I believe most of us have no problem with the first of these two keys to faith. We believe God is. { No problem w/ that Omnipotent ……

A)But where we really struggle is believing that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him


B) So we seek Him haphazardly or half-heartedly, if at all.

    We complain – we just don’t have time to seek the Lord in that way

1)   In reality that is Not true. We have time to golf; time to see the Lakers play; Watch TV / time to surf , fix the plumbing, work on the house

C) Every single one of us has time. No exceptions. We do what we want, and make time for what is of value to us.

1)    Sometimes it seems for some of us that we have time for everything else but Drawing near – Indication that we don’t believe this


D) If we did we would make Seeking God – our primary Pursuit

1)   I long for the day when all our services Sundays / Wed / Prayer meetings  -  filled w/  people saying,


‘Lord Corporately we seek Your blessing, Your direction, Your leading, Your provision because we understand You’re a Rewarder of those who diligently seek You.’



Thru/ out history, the common denominator in the lives of those who have been blessed is they have all been those who realize God enjoys our company.

A)And when we seek Him, we’re rewarded not because we’re going through some legal system, trying to earn brownie points —


B) But just because hanging out with the Lord opens the door to fabulous blessing from Him.

1)   Opens the door to guidance & Direction – in our lives & Families


C) So the person who is walking by faith – doesn’t make this mistake that Joshua and the boys made –

1)   He understands – more than anything else – more than what other people say – more than How He feels / more than – what it cost



James 1:4-8  5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.