Mar 25 (Daily reading: Joshua 9-11) Today’s reading gives us two important lessons.
(1) The first lesson is seen in the mistake made by the Israelites: “(They) did not ask for the counsel of the LORD” (9:14). The New Life Version says, “They did not ask the Lord what they should do.” The situation was that the Gibeonites, who were Israel’s neighbors, lied to Joshua because they did not want to fight against Israel. They had “heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai” (9:3), so they said they had come from a distant country. The Israelites asked the right question: “Perhaps you are living within our land; how then are we to make a covenant with you?” But the mistake was that the question was posed to Gibeon and not to God.
This story helps us to see the danger of not consulting God. The world is influenced by the “father of lies” (Jn. 8:44), and it can present “evidence” to back up its deception. But this evidence is convincing only in the eyes of man, and never in the eyes of God. As God’s children, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). We do this by spending substantial time in the word of God!
(2) The second lesson is an illustration of God’s grace. Because of the alliance that Joshua made with Gibeon, he had to interrupt his conquest of Canaan to defend the city of Gibeon (10:4). They had not consulted God in making this alliance, but now they would see how God would turn their mistake into a great victory. This was God’s grace! God used the situation to make war against five kingdoms and to eliminate their kings. This was instrumental in Israel ultimately conquering the entire land, with the result: “So the land was at rest from war” (11:23). How wonderful that God’s grace is displayed in our mistakes and weaknesses! “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9, NIV).
– Al Gary