King Yaweh has entered canaan.
Joshua made a treaty and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath (v. 15). That’s a functional democracy. Not sure how the leaders were selected in the first place but they definitely represented all the tribes. Unfortunately, they made a decision without consulting the Lord (v. 14), but they made the best out of it or at least they tried.
I love the way people of God showed mercy to people who deceived out of fear for their life. Whether this act is good in the sight of God is unknown. At the least, mercy is better than putting them on sword, because our God is merciful. He has an inclination towards being merciful.
Ch 9 reminds me of the parable of the shrewd manager. Rahab, Gibeonites knowing that The Lord is mighty try to get into His mercy by hook or by crook. And they did!
We worship a God who is omniscient. It is good to seek him first before any decision. We can avoid wrong path, complicated route, bad consequences if only we could ask God’s counsel. God’s plan always works, so let’s ask his direction in all our decisions.
Joshua experienced both victory and defeat. Victory when the Jericho wall fell down flat, defeat when Achan sinned against the Lord; victory against Ai when he stretched out his sword toward Ai, deceived by Gibeonites when the leaders failed to ask direction from the Lord. Leaders who either lead from behind or lead from the front should make sure that the people and other leaders are on board with them. One person or a group of leaders can mislead and cause damage to the entire community.
V(14):Joshua believed the Gibeonites. He did not think about any problems. He did not ask the Lord if their story was true. Joshua made a big mistake. This was a very big decision. The Israelites too agreed with Joshua’s decision. We must be careful. We always make mistake by leaning on our own wisdom/judgment and make important decisions without God’s guidance. We must always pray to God about important decisions.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight”- proverbs 3:5-6.
14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. – Differentiating good and evil was / is a problem. Evil thoughts try to enter through many different ways. ‘Ask Him’ is the solution given here. When we find something strange that tries to enter our hearts, we need to pray and take His help.
Joshua made mistakes by leaning towards his own wisdom and judgement. V16: Truth will triumph while lies will be discovered and exposed. To stand against devil’s scheme we need to put the armor of God. Devil’s scheme and traps are far superior than our own strength.
In this chapter we can understand how Grace of God works. God turns a curse into blessing.
Truth and distanceIt is a classic con. The clue is in the words “We are from a far distant country “(v 9). Missing modern phones and WiFi, how could they have heard what Yahweh has done if they come from so far away?
Imagine the commercial of cleaning liquid ( Washing powder Nirma ad comes to mind). There is no way to prove it but the demonstration of white clothes coming of the water with a humming melody is shown or believed as proof ( in science no one will take such things seriously). Appearance could be deceptive.
When distance and appearance is mistaken for genuineness, it can bomb.
Apparently, let us not dismiss Israel folly too quickly. How many times have our heart-warmed when Gods work in TUCC is spoken by people from far off distance. Nothing wrong. But could be deceptive. We need discernment to separate Rehab ( faith) and Gideonites ( flattery) who spoke similar words.
Observation: Somehow people from far away distance and God’s work when looked from a distance seems more awesome.
(v24) Gibeonites cheated Joshua and Israelites, they told Joshua that we feared for our lives because of you. We are now in your hands.
-(v26) Joshua saved Gibeonites and made them to serve the house of the Lord.
-God knows our inner hearts, He knows how bad we are, He knows how we are cheating Him. But, He would still want to save us if we fear for Him, if we surrender ourselves to Him!