Have you received an email saying you’ve received a great inheritance? All you need to do, says the sender, is click this link and enter your bank account information. Savvy people know it’s a scam. The sender wants to steal from you. These popular online deceptions may be easier to spot than deceitful acts which occur in personal relationships.
While Joshua was preparing his troops for battle, delegates from Gibeon seeking a peace treaty caught him off guard. Notice the carefully planned details of their deception: “worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended,” “worn and patched” sandals, and “dry and moldy” bread (vv. 3–5). At first, their request seemed reasonable. They tricked Joshua and the Israelites into thinking they were from a faraway country instead of revealing their true identity as close neighbors (vv. 7–15).
When the Israelites realized they had been duped, they faced a conundrum. Should they attack the Gibeonites? Or should they honor their commitment even though it was made under a false pretense? Joshua’s inexperience as a leader was on display. But he was a quick learner and refused to attack the Gibeonites. He kept his treaty with a condition that they serve the Israelites. This chapter presents a lesson Joshua learned on his quest: God would keep His promise and so should His people.
There are several occasions when the Lord had every right to turn His back on His people or annihilate them altogether. However, Yahweh had made a commitment to the people of Israel and was steadfast in honoring His promises. The lesson Joshua learned is one we need to learn as well: God keeps His promise and so should we.
>> As Christ-followers, we are not to be deceptive, but people who are true to our word. God keeps His promises, and so should we! Consider how you can live in light of today’s lesson. Let’s make commitments carefully and honor our promises.
The deceitfulness of the Gibeonites is a sobering reminder that Christ-followers have to be true to our word and follow God’s Word. Lord, help us stay faithful and truthful even in the most challenging times.