Summary: When people trick us.
A. THE GIBEONITES TRICK ISRAEL: JOSHUA 9:1-27
“When the six kings of great nations in the land heard about the destruction of Jericho and Ai, plus God stopping up the Jordan River, they made a covenant to fight together against Israel. The nation of Gibeon decided not to join the covenant but to try and trick Israel into a peace pact. They sent ambassadors to negotiate a deal with Israel, and wore old clothes and patched shoes and pretended to have come from a long way off. Even the bread was moldy. The ambassadors told Israel saying, ‘We have heard how God miraculously delivered you from Egypt, make a treaty with us. We will be your servants’” (Joshua 9:1-13, Amplified).
1. People trick us because they want:
a. Our possessions or money,
b. Our position or job,
c. To do something for them,
2. Remember a trickster is dishonest at heart.
3. Three principles to deal with tricksters:
a. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is not true.
b. Don’t trust their promises; look at their deeds, track record.
c. If they trick you once, it’s their fault; if they trick you more than once, it’s your fault.
4. Why was Israel tricked?
a. Lack of prayer, “They did not ask counsel of the Lord” (9:14).
b. They didn’t want the pressure of war.
c. They were afraid of the big coalition of six nations.
d. They didn’t believe or follow God’s promise to fight and conquer all the land.
5. A trickster will tell you a half-truth before they tell you a whole lie.
Three Truths The Gibeonites Told
1. “We have heard of your fame . . . what God did in Egypt” (v. 9-10).
2. “We are your servants” (v. 11).
3. “God commanded you to destroy all the inhabitants” (v. 24).
B. WHAT ISRAEL DID
6. Joshua was back in camp (v. 8) waiting for his next battle command from God.
7. Gibeon told five lies (they were 18 miles away).
a. “We are from a far country” (v. 6).
b. “We came because of . . . your God” (v. 9).
c. “Our bread was hot . . . now moldy” (v. 12).
d. “Our wine new . . . now old and rent” (v. 13).
e. “Our garments were new . . . now old and worn” (v. 13).
8. Joshua accepted their stale bread as a basis for peace. “The men of Israel took some of their provisions” (9:14).
The promises of a liar are worse than dry stale bread.
9. They believed the ambassadors. “Joshua made peace with them” (9:15).
10. Israel was told not to make a league with these nations; don’t disobey standing orders.
11. The truth of being tricked is hard to take. “Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day” (9:17).
12. People blame others for being tricked. “All the congregation complained against the rulers” (9:18).
a. We tend to blame others for our mistakes and our consequences.
b. We must take responsibility for our bad decisions, even when the trickster has lied to us.
13. We must keep our promises, even when based on a lie. “We have sworn to them, now we must not attack them” (9:19).
Two wrongs never make a right.
C. DEALING WITH A TRICKSTER
“Joshua told the men of Gibeon, ‘You have lied to us. God has promised to give us all the land, but we will not destroy you as we will destroy the other nations. You are cursed, but we will let you live and we will keep our promise. You will live in the land but not own it. You will be our servants. You will be woodcutters and water haulers for the Tabernacle. You have made us fear for our lives because we do not know if God will give us victory’” (Joshua 9:22-26, Amplified).