This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Deceitful Neighbors

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.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Northwest Indiana.

Browse Devotions by Date