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It must have been the story used for generations by the both peoples for why it is important to seek God in making decisions. The Gibeonites were a local people that realized that they did not stand a chance against Israel. So rather than fight them in a battle that would cost them their lives, these people deceived Israel into thinking they were from a faraway land and the deception worked. Israel made the treaty with Gibeon only to find—a short time later that Gibeon was just down the way a short distance.
I am sure that when they found out, Israel and Joshua were furious—they marched right over to their neighbors to wipe them out—but, then, Israel remembered its oath before God and realized it was their carelessness that was the problem—not Gibeon’s deceit and honored the treaty. Israel did, however, make these people their servants rather than their victims. Scripture does not really say how God reacted, but you can rest assured that the people of Israel did not make any other treaties without seeking God’s input.
In our lives, we should be careful in how we approach dealing with the world. It is easy to prepare to battle our culture of chaos and sin and to stand against the things we know to be sin. There are times, however, that we are faced with situations that seem innocuous and seem to allow us to either accept them or ignore them. Like the Gibeonites, we see no harm or danger allowing them into our lives. Then, ultimately we find out they are enemies that have deceived and seduced us away from God. That is why we must stay vigilant and seek God with our daily walk. In that vigilance, we can allow God to expose the enemies for who they are. In doing so, we will not be saddled with the outcome of our bad choice. Faith in God allows us to walk in confidence knowing he will protect us from the attacks and deceits of the world.
God Bless You
However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[a] with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. 6 Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”… 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? 23 You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24 They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the Lord your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.”
26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 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.