Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Joshua 9

After Joshua led the people of God to victories over Jericho and Ai, the people of Gibeon realized they were in serious trouble and decided their best hope for survival was to try to deceive Israel. Their only hope was to try to convince the Israelites that they were not neighbors but people who had come from a very distant land to pay homage to the people of the great God who had done wonders in Egypt and conquered the Amorite kings east of the Jordan. If the people of Israel knew the Gibeonites were neighbors in Canaan they would be wiped out.

So they developed a ruse. Their delegation packed things in worn out bags and took along old wineskins. They wore old and patched sandals and old clothes. And finally, they took along moldy bread. All this was to support their claim that they had come from a great distance.

When the Gibeonites arrived at the Israelite camp they asked Joshua to make a treaty with them. At first the Israelites were wise to consider the possibility that these men were actually neighbors. But then they fell for the ruse. The Gibeonites pointed out all their old and worn out belongings and showed them bread that was allegedly warm from the oven when they left home! Joshua 9:14, 15 record the disastrous mistake the Israelites made, The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

A few days later the Israelites learned that they had been deceived. They marched on Gibeon but did not destroy them because of the oath they had taken. Their oath prevented them from obeying the word of the LORD. They were supposed to destroy all the Canaanites so they would not be seduced by their foreign gods. What did the men of Israel do wrong? They did not inquire of the LORD. They took action and ratified a covenant based on their own ability to discern and they were deceived! It would prove to be a costly sin!

This causes me to take personal stock in my own life! I think of all the decisions I have to make day in and day out. Decisions that affect our church. Decisions that affect my marriage and my family. Decisions that affect my relationship with God. Decisions that affect my relationships with people in our fellowship. How do I make such decisions? Am I careful to inquire of the Lord or do I pretty much act on my own experience and knowledge?

Pride tempts us to think we know what is the right thing to do in all kinds of situations. We might think, “I’ve been here and done that before! I know what to do in this case! This is really an easy one!” But this passage warns us we need to inquire of the Lord, seek his wisdom, and wait on his guidance in our lives. When we carelessly act on our own we will be deceived and the damage we do may prove to be very costly!


At 7:28 AM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

As you said, concerning marriage, this is so important for our daughters (and our sons) to get! Making an alliance based on a good appearance... sometimes leads to unmitigated disaster. Can't wait to hear what happens further down the line- keeping in mind this principle.
Thanks David!

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Anne of The House said...

Can't wait to hear about the book of Joshua that is!
I'm sure there will be good lessons to take away.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Thanks for your comments, my dear! I always appreciate the angles that you come at things! I learn so much from you!


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