Wile E. Coyote
There are three words in the Old Testament translated as “watchman.” Some definitions of these words are:
Pay attention, listen
Beware, be aware
Be on the alert, stay awake, remain sober
Observe, be observant; see or behold.
Watchmen must pay attention, be aware, remain alert, and be wary. If not, our ignorance can give our adversary a distinct advantage:
“So that no advantage would be taken of us by satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.” (2 Corinthians 2:11)
Webster defines wary as "on one's guard, on the lookout for danger or trickery.” We are NOT to fear our enemy, satan, but we ARE to be aware of him and his subtleties.
In my book Intercessory Prayer, I describe what theologians call “the law of first mention.” Generally speaking, the first time a major subject is mentioned in the Bible, significant facts are given concerning it that will remain consistent and relevant throughout the Scriptures.
For example, the first mention of the serpent (satan) is in Genesis 3:1:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, “You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?"’”
It is easy to see this law of first mention at work here when God first speaks of satan. He emphasizes the serpent’s subtlety or craftiness. God is informing us of the most important thing we must know regarding satan: He is far more dangerous to us as the crafty serpent than the roaring lion.
"Crafty" is the Hebrew word aruwm, taken from aram, which means "to be bare or smooth.”(1) We use this same concept in our English language. Someone who is crafty or wily is often referred to as “slick” or “a smooth operator.” Such is the case with satan. He is slick, very cunning, and we must be wary of his deceptions, for he is always seeking to steal, kill, and destroy (see John 10:10), and does so with great skill.
Adam was not sufficiently wary of the serpent in the garden. He heard and saw him, but was not watchful, paying attention. Therefore, he was unaware of satan’s strategy. Had he been alert, God would have warned him of the attack; He would never have given Adam an assignment He did not enable him to accomplish. Through this lack of alertness, Adam allowed satan to violate his garden.
The devil is after our "gardens," as well: our families, homes, marriages, churches, cities, nations, etc. Our first responsibility as watchmen is to keep the devil’s influence out of the garden! In his book, First Things First, A. Roger Merrill shares a poignant story about gardening:
“Some time ago, a friend of mine - a business consultant - was moving into his new home, and decided to hire a friend to landscape the grounds. She had a doctorate in horticulture and was extremely knowledgeable.
“He had a great vision for the grounds, but because he was very busy and traveled a lot, he kept emphasizing to her the need to create his garden in a way that would require little or no maintenance on his part. He pointed out the absolute necessity of automatic sprinklers and other labor-saving devices…
“Finally, she stopped him and said, ‘Fred, I can see what you're saying. But there's one thing you need to deal with before we go any further: If there's no gardener, there's no garden!’”(2)
Watchmen are gardeners! When there is no gardener, there is no garden! We must determine to protect, watch over, and maintain our gardens.
The same word used to describe satan, “crafty,” is used in Joshua 9:4, to describe a plan the Gibeonite people used to deceive Israel:
"They also acted craftily, set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended” (NASB).
The King James Version says they acted "wilily." The KJV also uses the word in Ephesians 6:11:
"Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
Some of you will remember Wile E. Coyote in the cartoon, Road Runner. In his devious cunning, Wile E. Coyote was continually conceiving new ways to try and capture Road Runner. Road Runner always managed to escape, however, and Wile E. Coyote's evil plans often boomeranged back on him.
God has similar plans for Wile E. Serpent. His desire is always for us to be protected from the serpent’s schemes and for them to backfire on him. Let’s look further at what occurred between Israel and the wily Gibeonites.
The Wily Gibeonites
The Gibeonites were one of the Canaanite tribes that Joshua and Israel were supposed to dispossess. However, through their crafty plan, they deceived the Israelites into believing they were a different people who had come from a far country to enter into a covenant with them. Joshua and the people neglected to pray, asking Yahweh about this - always a part of satan's subtlety. The serpent's entry into their garden was progressing wonderfully; the watchmen were asleep.
The Israelites were not without warning. In Exodus 34:12, Israel was told:
"Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst."
The Israelites failed in their responsibility to watch, and just as the verse warned, they were ensnared.
We can conclude from the Israelites' suspicion of the Gibeonites that God was trying to alert Israel. Joshua 9:7 says:
"The men of Israel said to the Hivites [Gibeonites], ‘Perhaps you are living within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?’"
Rather than heeding this “check” or caution, however, the Israelites acted on what they saw on their own understanding. They were not wary, paying attention, watching, and were deceived into a forbidden covenantal alliance.
Many years ago, as far back as the 1960s, the wily serpent launched an elaborate plan to defile our garden, America: He would steal our freedoms and destiny under the guise of enforcing them; he would erode and pervert our Constitution by pretending to protect it; and he would weaken the church through a provision in the Constitution that was meant to protect religious freedom (the separation myth). And because the church had no effective prayer movement - actually very little understanding of intercession - there was no spiritual defense mounted. The results were that God was removed from government and education (1964); shortly after this, the shedding of innocent blood was legalized by the highest court in the land (1973); and our rejection of God and His ways produced a movement of rebellion, sexual depravity, and drug addiction. America was in covenant with the Gibeanites, and the downward spiral never stopped.
The reaping from this has been horrifying. A merciful shaking is now coming to finish this reaping process and turn the hearts of Americans back to God and our roots. We, watchmen and intercessors in our land, are part of this process. Our prayers are protecting America from total destruction while causing the shaking that will produce a reset. Please don’t stop. We have come too far and accomplished too much, nearing incredible victories.
Here’s a little encouragement from “Paint Your State” borders of Georgia and “commanding America’s foreword” there.
“I want to give you an update about the coast of Georgia…last week, Leslie and I, two pastors and two intercessors, started at the Georgia/Florida line and went up the coast on Interstate 95 to the Georgia/South Carolina line…110 miles…we stopped at every exit. I read Robert Hunt’s covenant at every stop. We declared the words GOD spoke to us, prayed, and anointed the ground…Confirming prophecies came in service Sunday…one after another…undeniable confirmations…we saw a shift that moved the whole congregation…Portals were opened, Holy Spirit fell in a way I haven’t seen in a long time…it was amazing…He’s moving…the best is yet to come…I believe you will get to hear about what God does on the coast of Georgia…God bless you and thank you for your obedience…” (Johnny Taylor)
Oh, and by the way, God is never outwitted by “the crafty one.” Tomorrow I will tell you how He turned the tables on satan in the Gibeanite situation.
Pray with me:
Father, when Adam and Eve fell in the garden, You did not abandon them. Instead, You lovingly covered them, continued to provide for them, and declared - hidden in a prophetic mystery - how You would crush the serpent’s newly gained headship over the human race and the earth. Calvary’s explosive deliverance crushed satan’s authority over all the earth, and delivered humankind from his authority. Your body, the Ekklesia, is now Your enforcer of this crushing blow. Obviously, we do not do so perfectly, but we are growing in our understanding of this partnership with You.
As we take our positions in our garden, America, we thank You for the grassroots movement of volunteers, and we thank You for directing us. Strengthen us. Guide us. And demonstrate to the world Your merciful, redemptive hand, as You reset America and reap earth’s greatest harvest. To You, we give all the praise. In our Redeemer’s name, Jesus Christ, we pray this. Amen.
We decree that our garden WILL once again produce righteous and eternal fruit.
Portions of today’s post were taken from my book Watchman Prayer, published by Baker Books.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, 1,763.
Steven R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill, First Things First (New York: Free Press, 1996), n.p.