About Jesus Steve Sweetman
The Gibeonite Deception (ch. 9:1 - 27)
In verses 1 and 2 we note that six nations form an alliance
against Joshua and
In verses 3 to 6 we see one of the nations in Canaan called
At this point we need to point out something from the book
of Deuteronomy. There is an
apparent conflict between Deuteronomy, chapter 7 and chapter 12.
In Deuteronomy 7:12 God specifically told
In Deuteronomy 20:10 to 13 the Lord tells
In verse 7 Joshua wonders if these people are really who
they say they are so in verses 8 through 13 the men proceed to convince
Joshua that they are from a distant, land, although they never say what
land that is. They show
Joshua the dry old moldy bread, the warn out wineskins, and their
tattered clothes as proof. They
also flatter Joshua by saying that they have heard of Israel's God from where they lived and were so impressed that they wanted to
come and be servants to Israel. Consulting the Lord is
obviously important for the Christian, but we are more often than not
Verse 14 states that the men of Israel
did not consult the Lord on this matter, so in verse 15 they made a
peace treaty with Gibeon, a treaty that was made on false pretence.
In verses 16 and 17 we learn that
The people of Israel
complained about this treaty that was based on trickery.
Obviously many Israelis felt that they should break the treaty,
attack, and kill Gibeon, but the leaders of Israel
said that was not possible. They
"had made an oath by the Lord".
Joshua was serious about making an oath before the Lord.
In modern days, this oath, or contract, would not stand in court.
It would and could easy be ripped up because it was based on a
lie. Joshua did not feel
this way, and I believe he didn't feel this way because God Himself does
not feel this way. God
honours covenants, even if made on the basis of a lie.
stood on the side of God on this matter, even though these people did
come to haunt them in future days.
Some might argue that keeping this oath by Joshua was a
matter of personal choice and so it has no relevance to us today.
I don't agree with this. I
think we just don't understand how God thinks and feels about many
things, and the keeping of a promise is one such thing.
In today's Christian world, we think more like the world
when it comes to covenants, oaths, and contracts.
The divorce covenant is one real example.
Christians don't take the marriage covenant seriously any more.
They divorce as frequently as those in the world.
The Lord is not happy with this.
Note in verse 20 that Joshua and the leaders of Israel
felt that if they broke the covenant with
In verse 21 Israel
made the Gibeonites servants. That
was the best they could do under the circumstances.
In verses 22 and 23 Joshua places a curse on the Gibeonites.
They would be servants to
The Gibeonites explained their situation in verse 24 and
25. They admitted, what they
did, they did out of fear. They
would rather be servants of Israel
than dead men.
Concerning the Gibeonites, once they became servants of Israel, they had a lasting legacy with
King Saul seemed to have some kind of connection with the
Gibeonites. See 1 Chronicles
8:29-33 and 9:35 – 39. They
actually became workers in the
In 2 Samuel 20:8 to 13 Gibeon helped Sheba
to fight against King David. Again,
you see that your undefeated enemies will come back to haunt you.
In 2 Samuel 21:1 to 9 David discovered that Saul had broken
the covenant the Joshua made with