God Always Outwits the Crafty One
One of the important aspects of prophetic intercession is to serve as watchmen. The praying church is maturing in this understanding. Adam was actually assigned to be a watchman. He was told in Genesis 2:15 to “keep” (Hebrew: shamar)(1) - guard, protect, preserve - the garden of Eden. Shamar is one of the primary words for watchman in Scripture. Adam’s assignment to protect the garden had to be related to the serpent. Before the Fall, the only possible thing Adam could have needed to protect it from was the serpent. There were no other threats or enemies.
The first mention of satan in Scripture (Genesis 3:1) describes him as being more “crafty” than any other creature. The word used (arum),(2) comes from a Hebrew word (aram),(3) meaning smooth or bare. God was telling Adam that satan was slick, smooth, cunning, wily. Watch him! Applying this to all of us, our biblical assignment as watchmen is to protect our “gardens” from the crafty serpent.
Adam failed in this assignment. Israel also failed at times to guard against satan’s craftiness; yesterday I highlighted one of those occasions. I chose this incident with the Gibeonites because the same word used to describe satan’s craftiness was used to describe this people. Israel was deceived by the crafty Gibeonites into entering a covenant relationship with them (Joshua 9:4). Though they were a local people, they dressed in old, worn clothes, making it appear that they had come from a distant land, wanting to make a covenant with them [the Israelites] (Joshua 9:3-15). This incident clearly symbolizes or pictures all humankind being deceived by the craftiness of the serpent, thereby aligning with him. (You can learn more about this in Wednesday's post.)
Covenants were sacred in those days, an agreement Israel could not just back out of or ignore. This covenant, in fact, was so binding that a short time later Joshua and Israel honored it by defending the Gibeonites in war! (Joshua10). Another proof of its sacredness can be seen many years later during David’s reign over Israel. His generation was experiencing a severe curse of famine (2 Samuel 21). When David asked the Lord about the root or cause of this curse, he was told it was because his predecessor, King Saul, had broken the covenant with the Gibeonites. David had to make amends. That…was the strength of covenant!
Although the deceptive covenant with the cunning Gibeonites could not be broken, God decided to use it to paint an important picture. Through this crafty scheme, He would demonstrate that His infinite wisdom far exceeds satan’s craftiness; He would use it to picture 1 Corinthians 3:19: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. For it is written: ‘He is the one who catches the wise by their craftiness’” (NASB). As you will see, God’s play on words here is amazing.
“Catches” is the Greek word drassomai,(4) which means “to entrap or capture.” No surprise there. It comes from drakon,(5) which means “a dragon or great serpent,” because that’s what dragons and serpents do to their prey: they catch, entrap, or capture them. Still no surprise. But drakon is also one of satan’s names, used of him twelve times in the book of Revelation (12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 16, 17; 13:2, 4, 11; 16:13 and 20:2). God actually uses one of satan’s own names, “serpent,” the very name associated with his craftiness, when describing how He outwits and traps him! “My wisdom is so great,” God is saying in this verse, “that I entrap the crafty serpent using his own craftiness!”
Now, back to Joshua. God decided to illustrate this and hide a picture of the Cross in the Gibeonite situation. The “crafty” Gibeonites would picture the “crafty” serpent. Joshua was instructed by the Lord to make them, “Hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord” (Joshua 9:27). Use them to make preparations for the atoning sacrifices, Joshua.
The altar of the Lord, where the blood of atonement was shed, symbolized the Cross. By using the “crafty” Gibeonites to prepare the wood and altar for the atoning sacrifices, God was demonstrating what He would one day do with “crafty” satan: use him to make preparations for the ultimate atoning sacrifice: Christ’s crucifixion. Get the whip ready, satan. Gather the spikes, weave the crown, hew the wooden cross. The all-wise God would use satan’s “craftiness” to orchestrate his own demise!
This Old Testament occurrence is an incredible assurance that God can reverse the subtleties of our adversary - the dragon, the serpent - and use them against him. Through God's amazing grace and wisdom, which always supersedes Satan's subtlety, even our mistakes can be used to bless us, to work for our good (Romans 8.28).
The serpent’s crafty enslavement of America will backfire on him. A generation of young people will be shown that they are being robbed of their destiny through lies about God and truth. They will be shown that their pain, disillusionment, loss of identity and purpose, have actually come from satan and his lying voices. Events will be orchestrated by Yahweh that allow them to taste of His goodness and love. This will forever “ruin” them to all other sources of fulfillment. The destructive lies and deception they were fed will fill them with righteous indignation, fuel the flames of holy passion, and make them the most devastating generation to the kingdom of darkness the world has ever seen.
Others will also taste and see God’s goodness, then turn on satan. Drug addicts and dealers will become powerful deliverers of the bound. Terrorists, like Paul, will become apostles and evangelists. Slave traders like John Newton(6) will become pastors of abolitionists - as he became for William Wilberforce,(7) the greatest abolitionist in history; they’ll write anthems like Newton’s Amazing Grace, the most often sung testimony in history. Do not doubt it: for every venomous bite of the serpent, God has the antidote. For every crafty plan, He has a redemptive strategy.
The Cross oozes the anti-venom, life-giving blood of Christ. It cleanses from ALL sin and unrighteousness - former sins cannot even be seen through it. It changes natures and eradicates sinful DNA, replacing it with God’s divine nature. The blood of Jesus heals every wound, restores dreaming natures, and puts new songs in hearts. The power of the Cross exposes every serpentine plan and releases God’s wise, pre-planned victory strategies.
Prayer, offered through faith in Christ’s sacrifice, releases this. Humble appeals, offered from repentant and faith-filled hearts, releases the very salvation of God. Watchmen have been awakened, the sleeping giant has been roused, and the ambassadorial representatives of Christ are beginning to release His authority. The borders of homes, cities, states, and nations are being painted, restoring the garden. The foreword is being commanded, releasing God-given destinies from the archives of heaven…and the great Dragon-Slayer is taking action.
As Founder Samuel Adams stated, “We have appealed to Heaven for the justice of our cause, and in Heaven we have placed our trust.”(8) Keep appealing and decreeing, church. It worked then, and it will work now.
Pray with me:
Father, You are great and greatly to be praised. You perform wondrous works, Your wisdom is without measure, Your love is boundless - truly there is no one like You. Thank You for loving us unconditionally, even while we were Your enemies. We love You because You first loved us.
The Cross is the ultimate proof that You are able to capture the serpent with his own craftiness. We appeal for this regarding our nation/s, asking You to once again turn the tables on the crafty serpent. Break America’s covenant with death through the power of the Cross. Use satan’s plans, oppression, lies, addictions, deceptions - all of his actions - as part of the awakening. Expose him for who he is: a vicious hater, thief, killer, and destroyer.
Raise up more watchmen to cover, decree and appeal. Give us greater understanding, discernment and revelation of our authority to do this. May a functioning Ekklesia swell to hundreds of millions around the world, those who know how to keep the serpent out of their gardens. Use their prayers to release truth, deliverance, salvation, and revival. Use them to raise up revivalists, deliverers, reformers, nation-changers and culture-reformers. This is Your will, we ask in Christ’s name, therefore it will occur. Amen - so be it.
We decree that the all-wise God of redemption, the God of the Cross and Resurrection, is reversing the fortunes of people and nations.
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James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 8104.
Ibid. Ref. no. 6175.
Ibid. Ref. no. 6191.
Ibid. Ref. no. 1405.
Ibid. Ref. no. 1404.