Not As They Seemed

Message:  In Joshua 9 the Israelites were tricked into making a peace treaty with the Gibeonites. They had seen and heard what God was doing through the Israelites and were aware of the promise God made to them so they pretended to be from a distant land and tricked the Israelite leaders into making peace with them. What stood out to me immediately is that they failed to seek council from God and he didn’t intervene or interrupt it. Once the deception was discovered they were unable to go back on their word because their word was in the name of the Lord. This was not the plan that God gave them but they were stuck in it because they had to honor their word. As I read this I thought about all of the decisions we make. We’re careful to pray for the big ones, but often times we get off track because we don’t pay enough attention to the seemingly smaller decisions. These ‘travelers’ didn’t seem like an important decision at the time and what Israel did for them appeared to be led by a desire to be kind and merciful.When it all unfolded nothing was as it seemed. How many marriages, contracts, business decisions and purchases have we entered into, and found out after the fact that things weren’t as they seemed? Another point I want to take notice of was the importance of honoring their word. I have known people to divorce, break contracts and break their word because they discovered they were in something that took them off track. In this case the Israelites honored their word because it reflected on God and if they hadn’t honored it their lives would have been in danger. This altered the plan because instead of killing them all this city became their servants and lived among them. Living among them meant they would integrate into marriages with their people and follow after other gods. When we make decisions without seeking the council of God we find ourselves stuck in contract or relationship with people who are not like minded in the gospel and this alters our plans too. Our word is important and we can’t back out of our word without dishonoring ourselves and God. This means we may have to endure some things and pray through solutions that were not the intended plan but, God will bless us and help us if we will consult him and continue making the best next decisions.

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