Joshua 9:14KJV 1900
And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counselat the mouth of the Lord.
Joshua and the Israelites had conquered Jericho and Ai. They were now prepared to move further into the Promise Land. This was the land that God had promised them since the days of Abraham. However, to inherit the land of promise they would have to conquer and destroy their enemies within the land. The Gibeonites’ was a small mountain kingdom within the Promise Land. Fearing Israel’s success, fame and their God, they decided to come up with scheme to ensure their preservation
Joshua 9:3–5KJV 1900
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, 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; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry andmouldy.
In effect, they would trick Israel into thinking they were a distant kingdom that lived nowhere near the Promise Land. Before moving forward, there is a sad testimony from the Gibeonites. They knew there was something special about Israel, their plans and God. There seemed to be an understanding among the Gibeonites that Israel’s God was more powerful than any other god. Instead of repenting from their false gods and religious systems to Israel’s God, they decided to trick Israel into believing they came from a far country. Jesus was absolutely right when He told His disciples that the world hates Him.
John 15:18KJV 1900
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hatedyou.
The Gibeonites would rather take a chance on tricking God’s people for survival than repenting to God.
Back to the point of Joshua 9:14. The Israelites bought their story. They believed the Gibeonites came from a far country and were ready to make a treaty between the two countries.
Joshua 9:15KJV 1900
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.
The problem was they did not consult with God throughout the process and made an unwise treaty with the Gibeonites. There are two points I want to make. First, even though Joshua was a great spiritual and military leader, he often times forgot God in the process. After they defeated Jericho, Israel took Ai for granted and lost 36 men in the process.
Joshua 7:8–12KJV 1900
O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? And the Lordsaid unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put iteven among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, butturned theirbacks before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
Initially, Joshua blamed the defeat on God. Yet, God said to Joshua get up off the ground, Israel had sinned, and in this condition, you can never prevail. It is easy to read between the lines. If only they had consulted with God before the battle, instead of after the battle, they would not have lost those 36 men in battle. The problem was not God but their lack of understanding where their victories came from. God was the source of their victories and He is the source of our victories. If we want to have success today then we must never forget Him.
Proverbs 3:5–6KJV 1900
Trust in the Lordwith all thine heart;
And lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him,
And he shall direct thy paths.
Please God help us to acknowledge you in all our decisions!
The second point is they made a sight based decision and not a faith based decision. Based upon what they saw, they believed the Gibeonites came from a faraway country. Yet, if they operated by faith then they would have consulted with the Lord. And the Lord would have warned them that the Gibeonites did not come from a faraway country but from a near mountain. This warning would have gone against what they saw, felt and smelled. Faith will always contradict sight. In every step of the way faith will be in conflict with sight. Just like the Gibeonites manipulating facts to convince the Israelites that they came from a faraway country; our world manipulates facts to convince us to believe them over faith. This is clearly demonstrated in science, sociology, history, literature, etc.…The only way we can combat this attack on truth is by consulting with God and believing in His word, no matter the cost