Deception and Curses

Joshua 9:3-6, 14-16, 20-23 (ESV)

When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us.”...So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. At the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, they heard that they were their neighbors and that they lived among them. ...This we will do to them: let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath that we swore to them.” And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became cutters of wood and drawers of water for all the congregation, just as the leaders had said of them. Joshua summoned them, and he said to them, “Why did you deceive us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell among us? Now therefore you are cursed, and some of you shall never be anything but servants, cutters of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.”

The people of Gibeon were sly. They did not want to die, and knew that if they did not do something, they would be killed by the Israelites. So they made this great deception. And Israel fell for it, because they did not consult the Lord before they committed to a treaty.

What can we learn from this? If we are to live according to what God commands us, we must consult Him on decisions. We cannot always recognize traps set up for us by the father of lies, and people just looking out for themselves. But if we seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance we may be able to see more clearly and hopefully we will understand His Will. This will keep us from trouble.

Regardless, once we give our word–in whatever situation we find ourselves–we are obligated. God wants us to honor our word. When we shoot our mouths off, we commit ourselves. So we must be careful about what we say we will do.

Spend a little time, and read the whole of chapter 9 of Joshua, see the details that I have skipped over. It is not very long. Then think about what else the Lord may be teaching you. Feel free to login and leave us your thoughts. Comments may be made at the very bottom of the post.

by Virgil Stripes

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