AVOIDING THE GIBEONITE RUSE

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, as compared to only 2 during their exodus from Egypt.
 
While traveling to the Promised Land, God instructed the Israelites 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. Then 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 the Gibeonites because they did not inquire of God about these people. They assumed that what the “foreigners” said was true. This turned out to be a very bad assumption. The Israelites were forced to abide by the treaty after they discovered the true identity of the foreigners. They had been deceived. The deception resulted because Joshua failed to keep a vertical focus with God. This created a problem for Joshua and the people.
 
The Israelites had to pay the consequences of Joshua’s failure to talk to God. They had to work to avoid cross-tribal marriages and were forced to make the Gibeonites slaves—this was something God never intended them to have to do. This resulting relationship between the Israelites and the Gibeonites 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 we deeply desire. Sooner or later we all get entangled in our own Gibeonite Ruse because we fail to inquire of God.

Hillman, O. (2011). Tgif: today god is first. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell.


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