Joshua led the Israelites through to the promised land. On their way, they crossed River Jordan, combatted the formidable wall of Jericho, Ai, the northern and southern kingdoms. Many of the nations, one of which was the Gibeonites/Hivites shuddered on hearing the news of the great feat.
It had already been established that the Israelites, through God, would drive out Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites and take ownership of the promised land. (Deut 7:1)
The Gibeonites/Hivites knew they stood no chance going to war with Joshua. They knew God was with Joshua. Therefore they came up with a plan – “let us pretend we are long distance travellers, with evidence of dirty, sweaty and rough clothes; sandy feet and sandals; empty water bottles; dried bread and unshaven beards, and present ourselves to Joshua asking that he makes a treaty with us that our nation is not destroyed”.
The Israelites had a gut feeling that they might be liars so they questioned if truly they came from a far country or they lived near by. As planned, the Gibeonites displayed their evidence. So convincing!!! The Israelites sampled their evidence and concluded, “there is 100% correlation between their story and the evidence. Surely, they must be from far country. Oh! We should have mercy and make a treaty”. I see deductive reasoning displayed here!
“They did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.
Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, ‘Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us?’” Joshua 9:14-16, 22
I remember my youth pastors would say, “Do not fall for any man’s/woman’s looks! Looks could be deceitful. You need to know if he/she is a born again Christian before you talk about having a relationship. It is not enough to say he/she is a choir member or usher in Church. Dig deeper, ask questions, make inquiries, double check with God!”
Samuel almost fell into the same trap. He saw Eliab, David’s brother, and said, “He is tall, nicely built and handsome. All the kings I have known have such grandeur. Eliab must be the one God has in mind”. Inductive reasoning of a man. Alas! Samuel was so wrong! 1 Samuel 16:6-7 I wonder what Eliab’s tenure would have been – perhaps like Pharaoh of Moses’s era?
“So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the Lord at the place the Lord would choose. And that is what they are to this day“. (Joshua 9: 26-27)
Remember God said all nations including the Hivites were to be driven out – was this fulfilled?
How often do you fall prey of misjudgement and what price have you had to pay because you did not take time to ask for leading from God? The Israelites had a gut feeling/unease/restlessness about the travellers but inquired not.
With God, 1 + 1 is not necessarily equal to 2. Few areas…
1. The business idea looks appealing. My friends made profit from it. I will invest and also get huge ROI.
2. The country is beautiful. All my friends have jobs and houses. I am definitely relocating there.
3. My sisters married late. They have delays in childbirth. Since I have reached menopause and just recently married, I can’t have children.
4. Economy is bad and jobs are competitive. 9 in 10 fresh graduates are employed in unskilled labour. Oh my, I certainly can’t get a job of my dream.