12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
These were the words spoken to Joshua and the children of Israel by the Gibeonites in order to deceive them into believing they were from a far country; yet instead they were neighbors to Israel for whom God had instructed Israel to make no treaty with. Joshua knew enough to talk to God before he went into battle, but what’s the harm in a peace treaty? God loves us to be buddies, right? Ummm… not always. It wasn’t long before Joshua had figured out that he’d been duped, but they had already sworn peace in the name of the Lord, and that’s serious business. So instead of killing the Gibeonites, the Gibeonites became Israel’s servants.
All sounds innocent enough, but Israel had still sinned in that they had failed to seek counsel of God. God may continue to use you, He may continue to bless you, but not to the degree that He would have if obedience had been factored in. But it’s the rest of the story that I love about the Israelites and the Gibeonites. They were not supposed to be mingled in with the children of God, and deceitfully got there. But God’s got a plan and as human as we are we can’t mess it up. God used the humility of Gibeon as a life lesson. They were humbly willing to be servants to the house of God if their life was spared and because of their willingness to serve Him He continued to use them.
After Joshua 9
- The Gibeonites became servants at the tabernacle, just as Joshua had commanded.
- Gibeon becomes a priestly city; the Ark of the Covenant stayed at Gibeon often in the days of David and Solomon (1 Chronicles 16:39-40 and 21:29).
- At least one of David’s mighty men was a Gibeonite (1 Chronicles 12:4).
- God spoke to Solomon at Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4).
- Gibeonites were among those who rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem with Nehemiah (Nehemiah 3:7 and 7:25)
Isn’t it great what God can do with us when we come to Him in humility and love, willing to be used where ever it is that He sees fit. As Gentiles we were not God’s chosen people, but in His great mercy He allows us to be a part of the family of God, grafted in, adopted in as one of His own. It was an awkward alliance that Joshua made, but because of it Gibeon was saved. Stop kicking yourself because of your past mistakes and rather see if God can turn awkward into awesome!