Israel's treaty with Gibeon. Just as all of us tend to be rather gullible when we don't seek the Lord's guidance, the Israelites are deceived by a heathen nation (Josh. 9:3-5). Years later their past comes back to haunt them (II Sam. 21:1-9). Joshua battles five kings and their armies. He prays for a miracle and receives it (Josh. 10:12-13).
Verses for Today:
The inhabitants of Gibeon . . . did work wilily (deceitfully). . . . And they went to Joshua . . . and said unto him . . . We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us (Josh. 9:3-6).
After Joshua's victories over Jericho and Ai, five kings (10:3) united to fight the Israelites. However, the Gibeonites, located between the land of the Canaanite kings and the encampment of Israel (9:17), decided their chances of survival would be greater by making a league with the Israelites than by joining with the Canaanite kings in their war with Israel. They deceptively told Joshua: From a very far country thy servants are come because of the Name (awesome Reputation) of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of Him. . . . Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals (provisions, food) with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league (treaty) with us. . . . And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live (9:9-11,14-15). This league with the Gibeonites reveals the enemy's skill in deception and how fallible our human reasoning is. Had Joshua prayed to the Lord, he would never have made this league.
The Israelites did not break their oath, even though the Gibeonites had deceived them. However, over 400 years later, Israel suffered a 3-year famine because King Saul broke this covenant (II Sam. 21:1). One sin never justifies another. As children of God, what distinguishes us from all other people is that we overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21). God wants us to learn from the Gibeonites' covenant, even though wrongly made, the importance of having personal integrity and keeping our commitments.
The moldy bread and worn clothing seemed to be visible proof of the strangers' words (Josh. 9:12-13). Too often we make decisions based on what we see or think. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Prov. 3:5-6).
Thought for Today:
For I delight in the Law of God after the inward man (Rom. 7:22).
As the One through whom we have victory (Josh. 10:25). Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 15:57).
9:1 great sea =Mediterranean Sea; 9:4 wine bottles =wineskins; rent =torn; 9:5 clouted =atched; 9:6 league =treaty; 9:15 sware =ratified it with an oath in the Name of God; 9:21 hewers of wood =woodcutters; 9:22 beguiled =deceived; 10:4 smite =conquer; 10:6 Slack not thy hand from =come with haste; 10:10 discomfited =defeated in battle; 10:13 book of Ja'sher =book of heroes (literally, "upright ones); hasted not =delayed for about a day; 10:20 fenced =fortified, walled; 10:21 moved his tongue =uttered a word; 10:24 your feet upon the necks = symbol of mastery; 10:40 vale =valley.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Beth Carlton • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Officials: Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY) and Rep. Ron Kind (WI) • Country: Bulgaria (8.2 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Bulgarian and ethnic languages • Newly opened to evangelism • 85% Eastern Orthodox; 12% Muslim Sunni; 1% Shi'a Muslim; .6% Catholic; .27% Protestant; .1% Armenian Gregorian; .03% Jewish; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for those who wrong you (Acts 7:59-60).
Optional Reading: John 7
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:7-8