“The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD” (Joshua 9:14).
When Joshua and the Israelites entered the Promised Land, they fought many battles. In fact, they fought 39 battles in the Promised Land compared to only two in their exodus from Egypt. God instructed them to wipe out all their enemies completely. The more battles they won, the more their reputation preceded them as they entered new territories. Such was the case when Joshua and the people came into the land where the Gibeonites lived. The Gibeonites knew they were as good as dead if they didn’t do something. So, they dressed up in old, worn clothes and posed as foreigners passing through. They asked Joshua and the people to make a peace treaty with them. An interesting thing happened.
The scriptures tell us that Joshua and the people made a treaty with them because they did not inquire of God about these people. They assumed what they said was true. This turned out to be a very bad assumption. They were now forced to abide by this treaty after they discovered their true identity. They had been deceived. The Israelites were forced to make the Gibeonites slaves. This created a problem for Joshua and the people. The deception resulted because Joshua failed to keep a vertical focus with God. Joshua did not ask God about these people.
They now had to pay the consequences. Those consequences resulted in having to work to avoid cross-tribal marriages while they had to make an entire people their slaves. This was something God never intended them to have to do. The relationship was a source of compromise for the Israelites that made them susceptible to future compromises.
Many of us fall for the Gibeonite Ruse in our lives. It may be a great looking investment, a job that’s going to pay more, or a relationship that you deeply desire. Sooner or later we all get entangled in our own Gibeonite Ruse because we fail to inquire of God. – Os Hillman
Photo: Hanilette Castillo