Summary: Message 12 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land. This message explores the incident with the Gibeonites and their deception of Joshua.
Joshua Series #12
The Amazing Race to Rest & Reward
“Gibeonite Deception” Beware the Deceiver
I. Purge the Land 1-12
A. God Prepared Joshua for leadership 1
B. Joshua prepared the people to possess the land 2
C. Israel Purged the Canaanites 2-11
1. Central Campaign
a. Israel defeated Jericho 6
b. Ai defeated Israel 7
We learned how the sin of the individual can bring consequences on the whole.
c. Israel defeated Ai 8
We learned that disobedience brings failure and consequences that can be the springboard for obedience and victory the next time around. God has to use failures to bring about His purposes because that is all He has to pick from. Because of His great power He is able to work ALL THINGS together for GOOD to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So get up, get on back on the road and listen to your spiritual GPS.
For the Holy Spirit like a GPS check out Isaiah 30:18-26. Even though this was intended for Israel, it expresses the Father’s heart. Sometimes the GPS instructs us to make a U-turn.
That’s GPS lingo for repentance.
Today we follow the purging campaign over another obstacle in the road to victory. The key responsibility along the way has been to listen carefully, trust totally and obey fully. This process generally breaks down at the beginning. We fail to seek the Lord or listen. We get ahead of God. We lag behind. We veer off course.
We revisited the purpose of the Scriptures.
They are good for teaching truth.
They are good for reproving us when we get off the road.
They are good for correction and getting us back on the road.
They are good for instructing us how to stay on the right road.
All Scripture leads to maturity and equipping for whatever purpose God calls us to accomplish.
After the victory over Ai, Joshua carried out a mandate that Moses issued found in the last chapters of Deuteronomy. Moses told them to be sure to gather and review the instructions that he left them. This was to be a special gather after they had crossed over the Jordan.
Moses also charged the people on that day, saying, "When you cross the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. For the curse, these shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. Deuteronomy 27:11-13
Here the people gathered to reaffirm their commit to God as His covenant people.
Here, they were reminded of the blessings available to those who chose to listen, trust and obey their God.
Continual reminders and affirmations of the truth are necessary for victorious living.
Joshua built and altar to the Lord and sacrifices were offered to the Lord. Joshua gathered the people just as Moses had instructed. Half the tribes gathered at Mount Ebal and Half at the bottom of Mt Gerizim.
From one side, they verbalized the blessings. The blessings would follow them wherever they want. They would be blessed by fertility and prosperity in all they did. They would have plenty of food. They would enjoy protection and military victory. They would be a healthy holy people to the Lord and not suffer the diseases the others experienced. They would be leaders not in servitude.
The description of the cursings would be much more detailed. It actually reads like the daily news. They would not be able to escape. They would suffer poverty no prosperity. There would be drought and famine, pestilence and famine. They would continually suffer defeat.
There would be mental illnesses and fear. Their good would be stolen and they would lose their homes. Their families would be violated.
These principles can apply both to nations and individuals. As Christians, we have been blessed with EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. Yet God also says that He is not mocked, whatever person sows, they will reap. Sow to the flesh you will reap corruption.
Sow to the spirit and you will reap eternal blessing. The principle we can learn for our journey is to continually review the truth and renew our commitment to listen, trust and obey God’s word.
d. The Gibeonites deceive Joshua 9
If Satan cannot defeat us with a direct assault he uses a more subtle tactic. There is one clear protection against this tactic we can learn from this chapter.
Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of it, that they gathered themselves together with one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel. When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us." The men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you are living within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?" But they said to Joshua, "We are your servants." Then Joshua said to them, "Who are you and where do you come from?" They said to him, "Your servants have come from a very far country because of the fame of the LORD your God; for we have heard the report of Him and all that He did in Egypt, and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan who was at Ashtaroth. So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, 'Take provisions in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them and say to them, we are your servants; now then, make a covenant with us. This our bread was warm when we took it for our provisions out of our houses on the day that we left to come to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become crumbled. These wineskins which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey." Joshua 9:1-13