Summary: Joshua 9
I have been exercising and swimming in a pool for 30 minutes a day since 2003 due to my weak knees from too much basketball. The hardest thing to avoid in swimming is swimmers themselves. In the States swimmers in a lane are required to swim to one side one way and return the other side to avoid bumping into one another.
Even so, four types of swimmers are difficult, almost impossible, to avoid: the splashers, swimmers who closed their eyes, butterfly stroke swimmers (the butterfly lovers) who literally "own" the swimming pool with their wings spread, backstroke swimmers who cannot see with the back of their eyes, and the elderly who swim where they please.
I discovered another type of pool hog in Hong Kong that I did not see in the States. In the States, pools are divided by ropes into three lanes and are longer in length, whereas in Hong Kong pools are shorter and rounder, so a few swimmers take unorthodox approaches: they swim around the pool and often get in and cut into the path of others, and other swimmers swim diagonally or crossways. In short, look out when you swim and swim with your eyes open. I have no problem because I can only dog paddle.
The story of the Gibeonites is important because it was the last hurdle the Israelites faced before entering Canaan. The success of Joshua's army grinded to a halt upon meeting their tricky neighbors. After this incident the rest of the way was plain sailing. Before and after this incident, no individual, tribe or nation could withstand the Israelites' onslaught. This time is the only time the new generation failed to rely on God and Joshua stumbled in his leadership.
Why do people lose their guard? What keeps people alert? How do we keep focused?
INVESTIGATE FOR TRUTH
1 Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things - those in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Great Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites) - 2 they came together to make war against Joshua and Israel. 3 However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 The men put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. 6 Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, "We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us." 7 The men of Israel said to the Hivites, "But perhaps you live near us. How then can we make a treaty with you?" 8 "We are your servants," they said to Joshua. But Joshua asked, "Who are you and where do you come from?" 9 They answered: "Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan-Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, 'Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, "We are your servants; make a treaty with us." ' 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey."