Text: Joshua 9 Theme: God honors us keepingÂ even unwise promises to others Key verses: “However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse…: (v. 4) “…they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him…’We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.'” (v. 6) “The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them…” (v. 14-16) “…the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oathÂ to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.” (v. 18) “So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water-carriers for the community and for the altar of the Lord…And that is what they are to this day.” (v. 26-27) What God said to me: It would have been much better ifÂ my people had taken time to pray and seek my directionÂ before they went and promised not to destroy the Gibeonites. Furthermore, they already had clear direction from me to destroy everything and everyone.Â Yet, despite all that, I allowed and honored their decision and their promise. Dwayne, that is how serious I takeÂ vows and commitments. Even when those vows aren’t in your best interest, once you make them I expect you to keep them. Only when your vow is to Satan and means breaking my law and dishonoring me by sin should you not keepÂ a promise. Otherwise, you are bound to it even as you are bound to me. Now imagine this: If I so strongly expect you to keep your promises to others, how much more serious am I about your promises and vows made to me? What I said to God: Holy God, I humble myself before You now. You know that even in the past few days I have broken promises made to You. You know my heart, how it is deceptively wicked all the time. I thank You for the new heart and the new nature You have placed in me. That new nature wants only to please and honor You. That new nature is a promise-keeper. My tendency is as Joshua’s: not to seek You first but rather to follow my instincts. I know how ridiculous and dangerous such a practice is. Thank You that You protect us even in our moments of stupidity. Thank You that You are able to work even ill-advised words and actions toward our ultimate good and Your ultimate glory. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
19. June 2007 Joshua 0