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Tricked by the Inhabitants of Gibeon

Scripture Passage: 
Joshua 9:1-27

INTRODUCTION: As great a leader as Joshua is, he has one flaw that is a warning to us all. He tends to trust his own wisdom too much at times. In the incident with Achan, he planned the battle against Ai without consulting the Lord. In this chapter, he figures out what to do with the inhabitants of Gibeon without checking with God. But this is not just Joshua’s sin. Do you have a tendency to act on what you see and understand without asking God and seeking His wisdom? We all need to be careful not to fail in this area.

  1. THE GATHERING OF THE ENEMY (Joshua 9:1-2)
    1. The Kings Heard of the Coming of Israel (Joshua 9:1; Joshua 10:1-4).
      1. In multiple locations
        1. In the hills
        2. In the valleys
        3. In all the coasts
      2. Multiple people groups
        1. The Hittites
        2. The Amorites
        3. The Canaanites
        4. The Perizzites
        5. The Hivites
        6. The Jebusites
    2. The Kings Gathered To Fight against Israel (Joshua 9:2; Psalm 2:1-2).
      1. All the nations united in the cause against Israel.
      2. This is still one cause for which much of the world can unite.
  2. THE DECEIT OF INHABITANTS OF GIBEON (Joshua 9:3-13)
    1. Their Plan (Joshua 9:3)
      1. The inhabitants of Gibeon heard about Jericho and Ai.
      2. They feared destruction.
      3. They will not unite with the other nations, but instead have another plan.
      4. Note: Joshua focuses on the obvious enemy, but he will be taken by a hidden one.
        1. First, he was surprised by Achan’s sin, and here he is taken by deceit.
        2. Satan is a deceiver (Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:3; Revelation 12:9).
        3. We should always be on guard for his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
    2. The Snare of Fraud (Joshua 9:4-6)
      1. They did work wilily (Joshua 9:4-5) meaning with wile : a sly trick, a deceitful stratagem.
        1. They pretended to be ambassadors from a far country (Joshua 9:4).
        2. They presented evidence to attest to their testimony (Joshua 9:4-5).
          1. They had old sacks (Joshua 9:4).
          2. They had old broken wine bottles (Joshua 9:4).
          3. They had old shoes (Joshua 9:5).
          4. They had old garments (Joshua 9:5).
          5. They had dry mouldy bread (Joshua 9:5).
        3. Note: We are warned against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
      2. They presented themselves to Joshua as innocent men (Joshua 9:6).
    3. The Snare of Flattery (Joshua 9:7-11)
      1. They come in peace (Joshua 9:7-8).
        1. The people of God question the Hivites (Joshua 9:7)
          1. We often think of these people as Gibeonites which is one of their identifications in the Bible (2 Samuel 21:2).
          2. The passage, however, informs us that different people groups dwelt within Gibeon. Here we see that some Hivites dwelt there, and later we see that some Amorites dwelt there (2 Samuel 21:2).
          3. Some of the Hivites from other areas gathered together to fight against Israel, but the inhabitants of Gibeon did not.
        2. The Hivites present themselves as servants (Joshua 9:8).
      2. They praise the fame of Israel’s God (Joshua 9:9-11).
        1. We have heard of your God’s greatness (Joshua 9:9-10).
        2. We have come to offer our service (Joshua 9:11a).
        3. Please make a league with us (Joshua 9:11b).
    4. The Snare of Falsehood (Joshua 9:12-13)
      1. Mouldy bread (Joshua 9:12)
      2. Rent bottles of wine (Joshua 9:13)
      3. Old shoes and garments (Joshua 9:13)
  3. THE FAILURE OF THE ISRAELITES (Joshua 9:14-15)
    1. Their Reliance on Human Wisdom (Joshua 9:14)
      1. They took of their vittles; that is, they accepted what they saw with their own eyes at face value (see 2 Corinthians 5:7).
      2. They asked not counsel of the Lord  (Ephesians 5:10, 17; Colossians 1:9)
    2. Joshua’s League with the Inhabitants of Gibeon (Joshua 9:15).
      1. They made league (covenant) with those they were to destroy.
      2. They promised them peace and life.
  4. THE TRUTH COMES TO LIGHT (Joshua 9:16-21)
    1. The Discovery of Their Error (Joshua 9:16-17)
      1. Three days would have made the difference (Joshua 9:16).
      2. They came upon the cities of the Gibeon (Joshua 9:17).
    2. The Murmuring of the Congregation (Joshua 9:18)
      1. The princes were required to keep their covenant (Proverbs 15:4).
      2. The congregation murmured against them; when leaders lead in the wrong direction, much trouble is caused (Jeremiah 23:1-2).
    3. The Burden of Their Sin (Joshua 9:19-21)
      1. They cannot be killed (Joshua 9:19-20).
      2. They will be servants (Joshua 9:21).
  5. THE POSITION OF THE PEOPLE OF GIBEON (Joshua 9:22-27)
    1. Joshua Curses Them (Joshua 9:22-23).
      1. Scolded because of their lies (Joshua 9:22)
      2. Cursed because of their trickery (Joshua 9:23)
    2. They Accept Their Position (Joshua 9:24-25).
      1. Their other choice was death (Joshua 9:24).
      2. They accept whatever happens (Joshua 9:25).
    3. They Become Servants to the Israelites (Joshua 9:26-27).
      1. They lived because of the oath (Joshua 9:26).
      2. They served the congregation and the altar of the Lord (Joshua 9:27).

CONCLUSION: The will of the Lord must be preeminent in our lives.  Never fail to seek God’s will in the decisions you make in your life.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 25:26

A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.