Joshua 9: Keeping Our Word
Even the best leaders have problems every now and then, and Joshua was certainly no different. in Joshua chapter nine, the people of Gibeon had heard that the Israelites were marching through the Promised Land and destroying everyone in their path.
Obviously, nobody wants to have their entire population destroyed, so the leaders of Gibeon came up with a very clever trick. They pretended that they were poor ambassadors from a faraway country and came to Joshua to make peace with Israel.
All of the Israelites bought the deception, and when they found out where they were really ambassadors from, they had no choice but to spare the city.
Jos 9:18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes.
Jos 9:19 But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.
Jos 9:20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we sware unto them.
I remember I wrote about this a while ago, but they knew that it was not a good thing to break an oath to God. They knew that they had been deceived, and they obviously weren’t happy about it, but they knew that there was nothing they could do now.
I hope that we all try to be as honest as our dealings as Israel was. They had plenty of reasons to retaliate and certainly had the ability to conquer Gibeon, but they knew that they had to keep their word.
Obviously, making the treaty in the beginning was the mistake that they should not have made, but they did not make another mistake in how they handled the people they had made a treaty with.