少儿圣经故事:约书亚的故事Story of Joshua(06)

发表时间:2017-08-23内容来源:VOA英语学习网

Children in America love to play a game called "Mother, May I?" One child stands facing a line of children a distance away. The one child calls out a command, but the other children must remember to ask"Mother, may I?" before they move. When the leading child says, "Yes, you may, " then the child in the line may move. The children groan when they forget to ask, "Mother, may I?" for it means one must go back to the starting line.

That reminds me of what happened to Joshua and the leaders of Israel. Listen for a groan from the people of Israel in our Bible lesson today!

Do you remember the names of the two cities that Joshua and the soldiers of Israel have conquered since they crossed over the Jordan River?The first city was Jericho, and the second was the little city of Ai. All the other cities were hearing about these incredible victories, and they were afraid."Will we be the next?" they were probably asking. The Bible says in Joshua 9:1 and 2, "when all the kings heard they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and .."Israel."" They decided their best defense would be to fight together. As these kings were making their plans to fight Israel, there was one city that made very different plans!

It seems that the people of the city of Gibeon realized that fighting Joshua would be useless.

So they worked very slyly! They had some men dress up as ambassadors to go to Israel. An ambassador is an official messenger sent from a country usually for the purpose of keeping peace between countries. But these men from Gibeon intentionally dressed up in old, dusty clothes, and put on old, worn-out shoes. They put old sacks for saddles on their donkeys, and took old, worn out wine bottles. They even took dry, moldy bread. Well, what do you suppose they are going to do, boys and girls???Joshua 9:6 says, "And they went to Joshua to the camp, and said to him, and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country:now make a league with us." A league meant a peace agreement. Joshua and the men of Israel looked them over carefully as they listened.

The Gibeonites were very good actors! They SAID they were from a far country, they LOOKED like they had come a long way, but in their hearts they KNEW they were lying. And God knew it. The Bible says, "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." The heart is the real you that's listening to me right now. No matter what you wear or how nice you try to act, God sees the real you on the inside! What does God see when He looks at our hearts?Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked." God knows every jealous thought we've ever had, every lie we've ever told, every time we've pouted, or disobeyed. And He doesn't excuse even the smallest sin. God is our loving Creator, but He is also holy, completely perfect, and says SIN MUST BE PUNISHED. For those who do not believe in Jesus, that punishment is everlasting death and separation from God. Being a good actor might help you escape punishment here on earth, but remember, God sees your heart!

The Gibeonites were very good actors, as they presented their story to Joshua and the people of Israel. But Joshua and the men of Israel could not see in their hearts, so they tried to figure out the truth from what they saw."Suppose you people really live close to us, and you're just lying to us. How can we be sure we should make a league with you?" the men of Israel asked.

Main Truth:Link:The men of Israel were suspicious, but they didn't know for sure. But they were using their eyes and their minds to try to figure out the truth. Was that enough?What was the most important thing they should have done right then?You are right if you said:"Ask God about it?, for He knew everything about these strangers! Remember the game, "Mother, may I?" If you are God's child, don't forget to come to Him with every decision and say, "Father, may I?" Your Heavenly Father knows the very best answer!

The men of Israel were suspicious, but they didn't ask God for wisdom and direction! Joshua just kept asking questions."Who are you, and from what country did you come?" The Gibeonites had their answers all ready."We are your servants who have come from a very far country, and we came because we heard about the Lord your God, and all that He did in Egypt, and how He helped you defeat all those kings on the other side of Jordan. So we wanted to make a league with you. If you don't believe us, look at our bread?we took it hot out of the oven the day we left, and now look, it is dry and moldy. Look at our shoes and clothes how worn out they are. You can tell we have been traveling a long, long time."

Joshua 9:14 is a very sad verse:"And men (of Israel) did not ask counsel at the mouth of the LORD."

They didn't pray about it, to ask God's direction. They made the wrong decisions. They decided to make peace with these ambassadors, and let them live. So they made a league with the men of Gibeon and promised them before the Lord that they would not kill them.

Only 3 days later they found out the truth. And the truth was that the Gibeonites had really only come about 20 miles! They were not from a far country at all! Can you just hear that groan going up from the camp of Israel!! Gibeah was actually one of the cities Joshua was planning to conquer, and now he had promised before the Lord that the people of Israel would not hurt them.

The Bible says the people of Israel complained, but they knew they had promised before the Lord, and they could not break that promise, or they will be in trouble with the Lord. But Joshua and the leaders of Israel called the Gibeonites together and asked them, "Why did you deceive us, telling us you were from a far country, when you really live very close?"

The Gibeonites had a very good answer, boys and girls!"Because we heard how the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all of us, so we were very afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing. And now, we are in your hand, whatever seems right and good to you to do to us, do it."

The Gibeonites had done the only thing they knew to do to be saved from destruction! Did you know there is only one thing you and I can do to be saved from everlasting death and destruction?John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The word"perish?means to be destroyed forever. But God loves you so much that He was willing to give up the dearest treasure of His heart, His perfect Son Jesus, for YOU. How did God give His Son?He sent Jesus to earth to die in your place, taking your punishment and mine for sin. When wicked men nailed Jesus to a wooden cross, He was taking our place. After the Lord Jesus died and was buried, He came alive again on the 3rd day. Now Jesus is in Heaven, and believing in Him is the ONLY way you and I can be saved from everlasting death and destruction. The Gibeonites knew of only one way they could be saved from destruction by Joshua and the army of Israel. And that was to trick the people of Israel.

Joshua kept his promise to save their lives, but because they had deceived the people of Israel, Joshua said, "Now because of this, you are cursed and there shall none of you be freed from being servants to us. You will cut wood and carry water for the house of our God."

The people of Gibeon readily agreed to this job. Perhaps they realized it was certainly better to cut wood and draw water and still have their families alive and well, than to have Joshua and his army come and completely destroy them.

Do you think the people of Israel really wanted to be bothered with a lot of strangers in their camp?No, and every day as Joshua and the people of Israel saw a Gibeonite chopping wood, or bringing water, they would be reminded of the sad consequences of not asking God for His direction! If you are God's child, remember to ask God's directions so you can make right decisions! Bad decisions can cause you much sorrow, some for the rest of your life! Will you begin daily to read God's Word?His Word is our best counselor! And pray anytime, anywhere, about anything! God promises His Holy Spirit will be a guide for us in making right decisions.

来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20170823/487777.html