There are many good things in this life.  Or at least they appear to be good.  But are they?  This goes with everything from decisions, from views on life, from…everything.

But good and evil rarely come in the form of black and white.  Instead it comes in shades of gray.  All shades of gray.  Because even that which is evil, can be made to sound good.  In fact, there isn’t a sin we commit that we don’t justify.

The challenge is this.  “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor 11:14).

We this clearly when Jesus was being tempted in the desert.  Jesus was suffering greatly, and Satan was using actual Scripture.  He was trying to get Jesus to justify the easing of his suffering.

For me right now I’ve been in a modified fast.  And I can assure you I’ve (unfortunately) stumbled a few times.  And each time is because I’ve justified why it Ok.

We will always be assailed by things that seem good, but are not of God.  Things that sound good, can have deception within them.

I think of tv shows right now that God-fearing people are watching.  They are excellent production value, entertaining story lines and more, but at the core they are deeply ungodly.  They have good and bad mixed together, making a gray mush that tends to make it “Ok to watch.”

Israel faced this issue.  The Gibeonites came to them and said they were distant travelers, weary and wanted refuge.  They asked to make a treaty with Israel.  In a seeming act of compassion Israel agreed.

But the Gibeonites were “sheep in wolves clothing” (Matt 7:15).  Instead of being poor and small, they were “a great and large city like one of the royal cities…and all its men were warriors” (Joshua 9:2).

Joshua and the men of Israel make a treaty with them.  Only later to find out who they really were–people in the land that the Lord had set apart for destruction.  Because of their treaty though they now had to honor their word and protect them.

What went wrong?  Why did Israel get into this mess?  The Scripture says they made this mistake:

They “did not seek the Lord’s counsel” (Joshua 9:14).

It’s so easy to do.  It’s easy for us not to seek the counsel of God.  Or worse, if the counsel of God goes against our desires, to obey instead of justifying.