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March 14 – Disguised hatred is still hatred

“…when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning” – Joshua 9:3b,4a 

Scripture reading: Joshua 9:1-6

The Bible says that God put enmity between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman; the Lord Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them as it had hated Him; Paul told Timothy that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.

The world hates the church, but its hatred isn’t always shown in open hostility. The opening verses of Joshua 9 tell us that the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites gathered together as one to fight against Joshua and Israel. In other words, those people showed their enmity by getting ready for war. The Gibeonites showed their enmity toward Israel in a different way: when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning.

Until recently, the church in the West has not faced open opposition or persecution, but we have nonetheless been under assault from the world in the constant enticement to pursue “the good life” as our culture defines it, the life we receive from the gods of pleasure, power, money, technology and science. The Holy Spirit has told us that the world will hate us and we should believe Him. We should recognize the world’s propaganda for what it is: a cunning strategy to undermine our faith and our commitment to live by faith in the only true God.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe that the world hates you, to recognize its hatred even when it is disguised and to live only by faith in God’s promises.

Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.


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