Joshua  9

Double Deception. It’s Not What You Think.

In chapter 9 we read that the people of Gibeon had heard what Israel had done to Jericho and Ai and then came up with a plan to deceive Joshua and Israel into making a peace treaty with them.  In verses 9 and 10 they told Joshua that they had heard how God delivered Israel out of slavery in Egypt, how God had defeated the kings on the east side of the Jordan River, what He had done to Jericho and Ai. They said that they had come from a distant land to make a covenant or treaty with Israel. The Israelites believed their story and made the treaty but soon the truth came out, Gibeon was a neighbor in the neighborhood.

 When Joshua found out the truth, he confronted the people of Gibeon as to why they had lied to him.  Verse 24 records their answer.  So they answered Joshua and said, “Because it was certainly told your servants that the Lord your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you; therefore we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.”  Joshua 9:24 NASB

 In the New Testament there are two Greek words translated sin.  One of the words means to miss the mark.  It is a term used in archery when shooting an arrow at a target.  When one misses the target it is called a sin.  The other Greek word translated sin means to miss the true goal and scope of life. The apostle John calls this a sin that leads to death. The Gibeonites committed both sins.

 Sin is deceptive, and is especially deceptive to the one committing the sin.  The Gibeonites knew about God, all He had done, and what He was going to do, so they came to Israel to make a covenant that was meant to spare their lives.  In coming to Israel rather than God, knowing what they knew, they missed the true goal and scope of life.  In thinking they could make a treaty with Israel and thus be saved, they missed the mark.  Their efforts deceived them twice and they ended up in slavery.

 I fear that there are people in the Church today who are like the Gibeonites.  They know about God and they want to be saved but they join a church instead of giving their life to the Lord.  To them a church is a social club.  Entertainment and activities are high on their definition of what a church should be. Often they are unhappy and feel enslaved thinking that God doesn’t want them to have any fun.  They don’t want to give up their old life and they often attempt to change the Church to fit their desires.  This is missing the mark. They are in danger of missing the true goal and scope of life. 

 The agape love of God is to be the center of any church or fellowship.  Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John13:34&35 NASB

 We need to be careful here.  The agape love of God is a benevolent love. Its benevolence, however, is not shown by doing what the person loved desires but what the one who loves deems as needed by the one loved.  Agape love is clearly seen in John 3:16 God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” KJ

God saw that the world was perishing and that there was nothing the world could do about it so He did what was needed.  He gave His Son to pay for the world’s sin that the world might be able to choose life.  God’s love for us cost Him dearly. A true relationship with Jesus results in realizing we are loved by God and that we experience the peace and joy that Jesus has given us.  (John 15:11-17, 16:33)

 The Gibeonites realized they were in the path of a coming judgment so they tried to make a deal with Israel. They ended up slaves because they relied on their plan.  Their plan and action deceived them into thinking they had saved their lives but they missed the mark because they missed the true goal and scope of the life God had for them and for each of us. 

 Could they have been saved rather than enslaved?  Check out these verses for the answer.

Joshua 2:1-21

Joshua 6: 22&23

Matthew 1:5


Grace and Peace