When the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and the Jebusites heard about Joshua’s victories, they decided to unite in war against him. The Gibeonites on the other hand decided to sought to make a peace agreement with Israel, their method – tricking the leaders to believe they came from a far away land.
The Gibeonites had heard of all the victories God has been giving Israel right from Egypt, and they decided it would not be a wise thing to fight against Israel, but rather to seek a peaceful treaty. In order to deceive Joshua and the leaders of Israel that they came from a far land, they took mouldy bread, old sacks, old garments and shoes, they summarily looked old and shabby. However, it was not their deception that worked but the fact that Israel did not ask counsel of God.
The lessons here are massive! Do not judge by sight, do not believe all that people say, when making decisions (especially vital ones), the physical facts are not enough evidence to reach a conclusion – seek the counsel of the Lord. When choosing a Job, a wife, where to live, what to do, do not just think in terms of the advantages, salary, beauty and so on, ask God of what he wants you to do or choose.
It was three days after the agreement has been made with the Gibeonites that Israel discovered that they were actually close neighbours, but the deed was already done and the agreement could not be broken. The Israelites could not smite the Gibeonites when they got to their city because of the agreement the leaders had made. As a last resort, the Gibeonites were allowed to live as hewers of wood and drawers of water to the people of Israel because they deceived Israel into the pact.
Do not make haste in decision making, do not judge by sight, face value could be false value, face value could be fake value. Seek God’s counsel and he will guide you into the right choice for you not to be later regretted.
Some verses to remember
vs 14 – and the men took of their victuals and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.