Joshua: Gibeonite Deception

Joshua 9

Church Security—Special Bulletin

Intelligence has recently uncovered a new wave of church
terrorism that has rapidly affected the Body of Christ.
Intelligence has uncovered the names of the leaders behind
this wave: Bin Gossiping, Bin Critical, Bin Coveting, and Bin
Sour. The fear is that these leaders have well developed cell
organizations in many churches across the nation.
Intelligence also fears that there are ever more brothers in
this wicked family just waiting for orders to invade.
Since our first report, we have been notified by a number of
Church’s Board that they have identified four additional
suspected terrorists working in different churches. Three of
the four have been apprehended. Bin Sleepin, Bin Loafin, and
Bin Drinkin have been taken into custody.
The Associate Pastor advised us that it is very difficult to find
anyone fitting the description of the fourth cell member, Bin
Workin, in most churches. However, he is confident that
anyone who looks like he’s Bin Workin will be very easy to

Last week we saw Israel defeat the city of Ai. This time
they listened to the Lord and obeyed Him.
Today we will turn our attention to the 9th chapter of

Joshua 9:1-2

These verses describe the three regions of Palestine.
Hill country is the central mountain region
Lowland is the region between Philistine plain and the
mountains in the center of the area Coast of the Great Sea
is the Mediterranean sea coast.

Most of the kings had gathered together to plan out their
attack against Israel. They most likely heard of their first
failed attempt against Ai and decided to join forces and
come against Israel head on.

Verse 1 lists a few of the groups that Joshua mentioned
back in Joshua 3:10 that God said they were to destroy.

But one of those groups had other plans.
Plans for peace and deceit.

Joshua 9:3-13

Israel Deceived

The people of Gibeon heard what happened at Jericho
and Ai and decided against the head to head combat
even with all of the kings with one accord.
The city was located between Bethel and Jerusalem.
They understood that God had promised to give them
into the hands of Israel.

Their plan of action – Peace through Deceit

Visual Deception
So they acted craftily and dressed like they had been on
a long journey and came to where Joshua was and asked
for a covenant of peace.
They made everything look old and worn out so Israel
would think they had traveled from a long distance.
Their shoes, their bags, their clothes, their wine skins,
their bread. It was all a ruse to avoid certain death.
The Gibeonites tell Joshua they have come from far away.
Unanswered Questions
You can tell that Israel was suspicious of them because
they say, perhaps you are living in our land. But they
don’t answer.
The Gibeonites won’t say specifically where they are
from, they redirect the conversation to the fame of the
Lord and recall how He brought Israel out of Egypt and
conquered the kings of Og and Sihon.

Strategically they don’t mention the two victories in their
own region, Jericho and Ai.
This might have tipped off Joshua that they were from
the same region.

Joshua 9:14

Prayerless Israel

This verse explains why Israel was deceived.

First, they made decisions based on what they saw, not
what they believed. Their gut told them the people hadn’t
come from a far away land. Yet, they trusted them based
on their appearance.
Second, they failed to consult the Lord.
Several times throughout the book of Joshua we read of
the Lord speaking to Joshua.
This time we read that they did not seek the counsel of
the Lord.

Our biggest mistakes will surely come when we fail to
consult the Lord.

Joshua 9:15-20

Israel Makes and Keeps Covenant

In Hebrew, the word we translate as make when we talk
about a covenant is actually the word cut. When a
covenant was made there was always an animal that was
cut in half and each party of the covenant would walk
between the cut portions. The agreement was that if it
was broken by either party, the one who broke it would
be cut in half like the animal.

But those who are familiar with the Scriptures know that
Israel should not have entered into a covenant with these
people in the first place.

Deut 7:1-2 “When the Lord your God brings you
into the land where you are entering to possess it,
and clears away many nations before you, the
Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and
the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites
and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and
stronger than you, and when the Lord your God
delivers them before you and you defeat them,
then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make
no covenant with them and show no favor to

Here’s one thing I love about people in Bible times.
They kept their word!
It’s so rare today that people would actually do what they
say they are going to do.
Even though everyone in the congregation was
complaining, the leaders told them they were going to
keep their word. They would not harm the Gibeonites.

Joshua 9:21-27

Gibeon Cursed to Serve Israel

Joshua let the Gibeonites live, but he cursed them to be
wood cutters and water gatherers forever.

Even though they used deceit, Gibeon was spared.

They recognized the power and might of the Lord but
humbled themselves and were willing to take the curse of
being the permanent servants of Israel.
Think of how much they learned about God’s mercy and
grace as they cut wood for the sacrifices and brought
water to God’s people.


Seek the Lord and His Guidance

We’ve all made mistakes throughout the years that we
wish we could go back and change, but hopefully we
learn from them.

Israel learned not to judge a book by its cover and to
trust their gut.
The Lord told Samuel that man sees the outward
appearance, but God sees the heart.
God knows our heart and He is in constant
communication with us. Will we listen when He calls?

Keep our Promises

The Bible tells us to let our yes be yes and our no be no.
Even when it could be inconvenient, we must be men and
women who honor their commitments.