But when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to deception to save themselves. They sent ambassadors to Joshua, loading their donkeys with weathered saddlebags and old, patched wineskins. They put on worn-out, patched sandals and ragged clothes. And the bread they took with them was dry and moldy. When they arrived at the camp of Israel at Gilgal, they told Joshua and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant land to ask you to make a peace treaty with us.”
Joshua 9:3-6 NLT
A sad day of deception!
As Joshua leads the children of Israel into the Promised Land, the people of Gibeon decide to resort to deception. They pretend to have come from a long distance to trick Joshua into making a peace treaty with them.
Joshua makes a critical mistake recorded in verse fourteen, he “did not consult the Lord.”
There is always a balancing act of how to treat people. On the one hand, you don’t want to be naive and gullible. On the other hand, you don’t want to always be negative and cynical. I suggest it takes great sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to figure out this balance.
There will always be people who want to take advantage of you. They sound like they are well-meaning, but there is a selfish ambition behind their choices. If you give them your trust, they will disappoint and hurt you.
But you can’t let the “bad apples” corrupt your view of humanity. There are some really good people in this world. And most people will live up to your view of them. If you are always doubting and cynical of people, you will be a very lonely person.
Joshua erred on the side of being too trusting. He did not take time to consult the Lord. He took things at face value instead of pausing to ask for help.
Israel honors their covenant—even though it was entered into under false pretenses. The people of Gibeon become the servants of Israel. They become the woodcutters and water carriers for the people of Israel. But they will also have the responsibility to eventually cut the wood for the Tabernacle and the Temple. They become a vital part of the story of the nation.
It is interesting how God can get glory even out of our mistakes.
Some things to think about:
1. There will always be deceptive people in the world.
2. Always listen to God when making important decisions.
3. God can use our mistakes for good when we repent and give them to Him.
Holy Spirit, I need You to guide me every day. I need You to teach me how to see people as You do. I don’t want to be cynical or naive. Help me always come to You on every decision.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.