The report of Israel’s victories quickly spreads throughout the land.
The Jebusite king of Jerusalem, Adonizedek, and the other kings of the southern half of the Promised Land, including much of the coastland, decide to unite and fight Israel.
The people of Gibeon, however, devise a plan to join themselves to God’s people rather than fight them.
The Gibeonites pretend that they have made a long journey from a faraway land.
Declaring to Joshua that they have heard reports of the Lord’s wonders against all who opposed Israel, they ask to enter into a covenant with Israel and its God.
The deception works and a covenant is made.
When Joshua finally discovers that these are not foreigners, but actually inhabitants of Canaan, he can do nothing because the covenant is irrevocable.
Gibeon’s deliverance is reminiscent of Israel’s own deliverance.
Once again, a people doomed to perish, as Israel was after the golden calf, is saved from destruction because of their covenant with Yahweh.
Israel stood under judgment because of their apostasy and rebellion but was repeatedly spared because of God’s covenant promises.
Covenants can save, and Gibeon is both a reminder and metaphor for Israel.
Fun Fact: Fr. Mike records the introduction to the Podcast EVERY SINGLE TIME
Joshua 8: The redemption of the Battle of Ai
Joshua has a military strategy of having an ambush by drawing the people out of the City of Ai while other troops of Israel goes in the open door after all the citizens of Ai give chase
Joshua 9 is a sneaky sneak story of the Gibeonites
All of the other kings beyond the Jordan hill country are getting their war council together because they realize the Israelites are powerful and GOD IS WITH THEM
These were the kings of the Hittites, Jebusites, Perizites, Amorites, Canaanites, and Hivites
BUT, the GIBEONITES understand that rather than be DESTROYED, they are going to TRICK the Israelites into entering a COVENANT with them
They disguise themselves as if they have been on a long journey even though they live only a couple days away
The ISRAELITES partook of the GIBEONITES’ provisions and DID NOT ASK FOR DIRECTION FROM THE LORD
They did NOT ask God, “Hey, is this the right thing to do?”
They just believed the Gibeonites who were tricking them and entered into COVENANT with them
There is something really powerful about that when it comes to US and our BIG DECISIONS IN OUR LIVES
Remember, a COVENANT is establishing a FAMILY BOND
I AM YOURS AND YOU ARE MINE
Remember, it is NOT A CONTRACT
It is a DEEP RELATIONSHIP that is UNBREAKABLE
So without asking God if this was a foolish idea, they just do it
They soon find out that it is a TRICK
Even better, they KEEP THE COVENANT, EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE TRICKED INTO IT
They HONOR the COVENANT and will NOT destroy the Gibeonites or treat them as FOREIGNERS
HOWEVER, because they were tricked there would be CONSEQUENCES
The Gibeonites would work as hewers of wood and drawers of water
It’s a lot like Rahab
Rahab is a harlot living in Jericho
She houses the spies of Israel
She and her family get preserved and eventually become a PART OF THE ISRAELITES
Rahab is noted in the New Testament as being a PART OF THE FAMILY LINE WHEN IT COMES TO JESUS CHRIST
Similar to this, the Gibeonites are BROUGHT INTO THE FAMILY STORY OF SALVATION
Later on, Gibeon becomes a PRIESTLY CITY
It is where the Ark of the Covenant stayed during the days of King David and King Solomon
In 1 Chronicles, one of David’s mighty men is a GIBEONITE
God spoke to Solomon at GIBEON
Gibeonites are BROUGHT INTO THE COVENANT even though they did it in a tricky, sneaky way
Joshua and the People of God HONOR THE COVENANT, even though it was deceptively entered into
It is a WORD OF HOPE for the Gibeonites
BUT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES
They are essentially given a second class citizenship, but the Gibeonites accepted this because it was better than being killed
SO OFTEN, THAT IS US
When it comes to entering into a relationship with God, too often the reason we say “YES” to Jesus is that IT’S BETTER THAN GOING TO HELL
What God wants for us, from us, is not simply to spare us from eternal separation from God in HELL
God wants us to LIVE AS HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS
God wants us to LIVE AS FAMILY FOREVER IN ETERNITY WITH HIM
So often we say “YES” not because we want to be part of GOD’S FAMILY, but because WE WANT TO ESCAPE FROM PAIN (whoaaaaaaa 🤯)
WE WANT TO ESCAPE DESTRUCTION
WE WANT TO ESCAPE HELL
Maybe we are like the Gibeonites who were brought into a covenant relationship because they did not want to be destroyed
But, as time passed, there were PROPHETS who came from the Gibeonites
There are examples of GREAT THINGS God does with the Gibeonites as they become MORE DEEPLY AND DEEPLY A PART OF HIS FAMILY
THE SAME THING IS TRUE FOR US
We may say “YES” to God out of a MERCENARY HEART, A DESIRE TO SPARE OURSELVES
But, the MORE AND MORE we get to know GOD’S HEART,
The MORE AND MORE we get to know WHO GOD IS,
THE MORE AND MORE WE ARE DRAWN TO LIVING AS FULL MEMBERS OF GOD’S FAMILY
THE MORE AND MORE WE ARE DRAWN TO KNOWING THERE IS A FATHER IN HEAVEN WHO LOVES US
THE MORE AND MORE WE ARE DRAWN TO KNOWING THAT THERE IS OUR LORD JESUS WHO IS OUR BROTHER AS WELL
THE MORE AND MORE WE ARE DRAWN TO KNOWING THAT YOU AND I ARE BROTHERS AND SISTERS AS WELL
And THAT is one of the reasons we can LIVE IN JOY
We can continue to PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
As brothers and sisters, SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, we are PART OF THIS FAMILY
It doesn’t matter if we came into this family UNWITTINGLY
It doesn’t matter if we came into this family because we wanted to AVOID OTHER THINGS LIKE HELL
The fact is WE ARE FAMILY (GET UP EVERYBODY AND SING!!!!!)
Pray for Fr. Mike
Pray for each other