Daily Reflections


September 1, 2015


Joshua 9


"Joining the New Society "


This clever trick’ story is not without its humor, but it is also very serious. Too sure of themselves. Joshua and his leaders made a peace treaty with the cunning leaders of the Hivite people of Gibeon. The force of the statement, they “did not inquire of the Lord” (14), evolves from Moses’ stern instruction, specifically naming the Hivites:”Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy” (Deuteronomy 7:2-4). Nevertheless a treaty was made (15), but a great risk. An idol-woshipping Canaanite community was brought into the midst of the Israelites. The ordinary people understood the gravity of this more than their leaders (18). In anger they relegated the Gibeonites to the lowliest of roles within the community (21).

The future history of the Gibeonites, however, suggests that this is an example of how God can turn failure into blessing. This transformation began with Joshua’s inspired decision to raise the Gibeonites’ status to serving the temple, closer to the most holy things than anyone except the Levites (23). They were to fulfill this role at the place the Lord would choose (27). Amazingly God first chose Gibeon itself. Far from leading Israel into idolatry, the Gibeonites faithfully cared for the holy place in their own city. There David stationed Zadok the priest to maintain the required ceremonies (1 Chronicles 16:39); there young King Solomon went to seek God’s counsel at “the most important high place” (1 Kings 3:4). Later we find them fully involved in national life and, later still, among those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 3:7).

And today God brings into fellowship those who seem to be outside His grace. “Yet to all who received Him, to those  who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

PRAY: Fix in my mind, Lord, Your holiness and Your generous grace in
  loving me despite my unworthiness.