by Christina Farris
1 And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof;
2 That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
3 And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
4 They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
5 And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
8 And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
9 And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the LORD thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
10 And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
11 Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.
12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they were their neighbours, and that they dwelt among them.
17 And the children of Israel journeyed, and came unto their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim.
18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.
19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
21 And the princes said unto them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood and drawers of water unto all the congregation; as the princes had promised them.
22 And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We are very far from you; when ye dwell among us?
23 Now therefore ye are cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.
24 And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
25 And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.
26 And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not.
27 And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose. Deception is one thing that is often mistaken as done for evil gain. Many of deceived in order to gain protection. Yet it is the right type of protection. Is the deception not art of the devil. Abraham used it when he was afraid of a king of a country. He would tell the king his wife was his half sister. He would not tell them she was also his wife. Abraham punishment was a loss of a potential friendship with king and country. I think about the images during the Iraqi war of men coming with guns over their heads to surrender, not wishing to fight but make peace, in truth there was no sign of desire for war among some of the people. Not sure where the truce flag began in the since of waving of the white flag but the the truth is the flag symbolized the putting down of arms and surrendering to the enemy, despite the outcome, whether shot, or imprisoned for a time.
A country had heard of Israel and was very afraid of the God of Israel. However they seem not so afraid of the people of Israel for they came with a deception to hope they would not destroy them as they had other places. They came with wineskins that had ruptured and moldy bread that had not lasted there journey, to make Israel think they were further away then a three day hike in the wilderness. Israel made a peace treaty with them only to discover later their deception. Israel a land that desired not to go against their promise not to kill these people, confronted them instead of killing them to find out why they deceived them in believing they were from a far away land. Now Israel at this time fear the Lord themselves and decided if they killed them that they might be cursed for doing so because they had made a peace treaty. Israel enslaved them so to speak to be carry of wood and water for the temple.
The people of this land were afraid of Israel enough that they did not only lied but were surrendering attitude for their deception to Israel. If they had only come in peace, Israel would of made alliance of peace, but now the peaceful alliance was one of enslavement. These people would be punished for deception, where before if they told the truth they may of been greeted with open arms.
There many people afraid of dying, but they fear not God enough to make peace with Him, who already cried peace to them from the cross by Jesus saying forgive them Father for they know not what they do. Pharisees looked for a deceptive way to kill Jesus, not looking for the way of peace. Now hold on, through out Christ ministry the Pharisees had question Jesus wishing to entrap him, only to now be marked by their deception as being the antichrist. What is antichrist but anyone against the word of God, anyone against God will for all to know HIm. Was this the intent, of old timers of scripture. No God had harden the hearts of the Jewish people for this time period for one purpose to achieve his goaled of demonstrating his love for the Jewish and gentile nation of being able for Jesus to say forgive them for they know not what they do. As Christians it is our duty to forgive deception of those that physically nailed Christ to the cross, for sins of the entire world nailed him to the cross spiritually. The sin of disobedience to God nailed him to that cross. The denial of God's authority by serpent, then Eve and Adam in that order. God's authority would be revealed through the resurrection, so all mankind could see the need of Christ our Savior who chose to say forgive and not destroy.
How hard is our emotion to demonstrate peace when anger is at the core of our emotions. Yet peace is often the avenue that when taken is the road of the cross of Christ. The unity of believers is to lay down the lies and deceptive nature and use truth to wage our battles. Peace can not be found without truth. Truth can not be found without God. If we want to be followers of Christ and not the antichrist or the devil, we have to not use deception as a foundation of peace. The truth of Christ is the first foundation of understanding our role in nailing Christ to the cross, then understanding our role to believe in Christ forgiveness for the crime of denying God's authority in our life. We think our way is best and go about living without seeking God and his truth. We seek not and prayed not over little things. If Joshua and the princes of Israel had sought the Lord before the treaty, they would of learn of the deception before the treaty. If the Pharisees could change their role in the events of Christ death, I am sure they probably might have, in order to have peace. What I mean is when the conviction of the reality comes to Israel, the knowledge and need for repentance will come too. When the reality of the peace, love and hope of God shows the antichrist what He offers is life and peace, the blinders will be removed and the antichrist will no longer be at war with God. At the cross the truce flag of peace is waving for all to see God not surrendering but offering forgiveness and peace treaty of hope to you. His authority still intact. Joshua and Israel gave the country that deceived them the offering of peace, and correction. What is God's correction at the cross for man? The correction at the cross is His ability to forgive is greater then the sin. Lay your burdens of sin at the cross, stop drinking the lie of the devil that your sin is to great for God to forgive.
Dear Heavenly Father forgive our sin of not recognizing your authority in our life even in small situations and your authority in our life to be able to forgive us our sins, and that your love for us is greater then our sin. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:Ephesians 4:14-15 KJV
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: