Having failed to consult the Lord, Israel was tricked into a treaty with the Gibeonites.
Gibeon was six miles northwest of Jerusalem. This means that it was in the Promised Land. The inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua and Israel had done to Jericho- the first city conquered by Israel after crossing Jordan and to Ai- the second city conquered.
The most natural reaction was fear.
So instead of gathering together to fight with the “-ites”( v.1-2), they enacted a crafty plan to deceive Israel- to enter into a treaty with them.
Their plan was so crafty that their methods of deception included misrepresentation and false evidence.
Their plan was calculated.They had considered the hard questions and prepared in advance to ensure their lie would hold. This was powerful.
Joshua and Israel failed to seek God when approached by the Gibeonites.
Israel was forbidden from making peace with any of the tribes of Canaan.
Israel was to take the land and inhabit it.
There were so many takeaways but those that impacted me were:
1.Never fail to consult the Lord.
The Bible says in all our ways to acknowledge him.
2.We should all be willing to forsake our former associations in order to be counted among the people of God.
In Joshua 2 Rahab found salvation in the God of Israel. The Gibeonites did the same even though it meant them being servants and targets for their making peace with Israel. Joshua 10:4
In this way, they expressed the heart of David in Psalms 84:10.
3.God can do great things with people who are sinners. Sinners that turn, repent and submit themselves to him.
The Gibeonites aren’t rewarded for their deception, instead they are received because of their response to Israel’s God. Because of their turning.
In contrast , as soon as the Kings beyond the Jordan heard how the Lord delivered Jericho to Israel they gathered together to fight. Gibeon could have joined the fight.
4.We are similar to the Gibeonites in that we get to live in exchange for our servitude.
Eternal life for repentance and a life in service to our Heavenly Father.
5.We are different in that we don’t have to deceive our way in.
Jesus’ death opened the door.
Joshua 9 is a story of mercy.
Joshua 9 is also a look into the hearts and minds of a people that weighed the alternative against their present circumstance….Life as they knew it until death or new life, new mercy and eternal life.
They chose a new life.