Be On Guard

Wendy Pope

Day: 9 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today's Reading: Joshua 9

Joshua 9:2 (NIV) “They came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel.

Nobody wants to admit they’ve been conned. For just a moment we let our guard down and allow ourselves to be lured into a situation where later we are blindsided. We are left shaking our head, wondering how it all went wrong. I feel quite certain this is how Joshua felt when he realized he had been bamboozled.

God commanded the Israelites to wipe out the inhabitants of Canaan and the news reached the region’s leadership. God had already given His people victory and the surrounding territories were frightened. Israel faced more head-to-head combat with the kings, all except the region of Gibeon. Rather than battling Israel head-on, the Gibeonites devised a different plan … deception. 

Have you ever been conned? For a moment you let your guard down only to pull into something that you never expected.

The Gibeonites fictitiously claimed to be from a faraway land, tired, in need of fresh supplies and seeking peace. The scam was very convincing and included worn sandals, moldy bread and old wineskins. Appearing to pose no threat, Joshua signed a peace treaty with the Gibeonites.

What’s so wrong with a peace treaty? Peace is good, right? Yes, peace is good but not when God’s instructions were to only make treaties with faraway countries, not those you were dispossessing. (Exodus 23:23-24)

Yet the Gibeonites duped the Israelites into making this peace treaty. It might seem like the Israelites were victims in this scheme. But their disappointment to God is found in Joshua 9:14, “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.”

We have an enemy as real as the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy our relationship with God. (John 10:10) He is as subtle and crafty as the Gibeonites. With names like deceiver (2 Corinthians 11:3) and father of lies (John 8:44) we must always be on the lookout. We can’t ever let our guard down.

What can we learn from Joshua’s disregard of God in his decision? We have to be in constant contact with God through prayer and reading His Word. His Word guides us with truth. Our prayers help us know and understand God’s voice. He quickens us with the power of the Holy Spirit helping us know when to be on guard. When the enemy arises against us, we can fall back on truth. His Word will never fail!

Second, we must seek God for confirmation. Prayer is our communication for confirmation.

I’m so thankful God recorded Joshua’s disobedience. It’s a wonderful reminder for us all to learn from. As we will read, God didn’t remove Joshua from his position or count him unfit. He gave Joshua the wisdom to work the problem out, and he did. God’s grace didn’t end for Joshua and it will not end for you and me.

Prayer: Thank You for using ordinary men and women in the Bible to teach me how to follow You closely. Your grace continues to amaze me. I know I disobey. Help me to learn from the times I fail, so I may become more like You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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More Moments:

Whatever became of the Gibeon con artists? It wasn’t long before Joshua and the Israelites... Read More

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