“they also acted craftily . . .” Joshua 9:4
Truth, it’s the only direction God moves. To try to move towards God in an opposing direction is a trap for our soul. Many turn back because they are afraid to look at things from God’s perspective.
The overthrow of Jericho and the destruction of Ai struck terror in the hearts of the neighboring inhabitants of the Gibeonites. They wondered if they would be next on Joshua’s conquest of victories. The kings within the region of Palestine organized their forces for battle, but the Gibeonites were determined to act otherwise.
They decided a treaty would be a far greater safeguard than to face Joshua in battle. Joshua chapter nine records their subtle plan of deception to secure safety for themselves. Self-preservation is one of the strongest instincts of human nature. The Gibeonites went to great lengths to preserve themselves in the security of Joshua’s camp. Yet, we often do the same thing spiritually.
The conviction of sin on the conscience is often met with defiance and avoidance. Often, those under great conviction don’t seek mercy. Many would rather brave the attack, with incredible resistance against God, than be overcome by Him. Though those with a dulled conscience have seen others who have been won by the compassion of the Lord, this does not deter them from the empty attempt to outwit God.
Working from a place of deceit will cause us to miss the very thing we are trying to gain. The Gibeonites put on the appearance of being willing to know God without ever planning to adopt in their heart the God of the Israelites. They gave no thought of renouncing their own idolatry and serving God. They only wanted the advantages which would amass from making a covenant with Joshua.
The truth of this story shines bright before us. God knows the actual state of our heart. Hypocrisy must be stripped away from our heart. If we want the benefits of knowing God, we must become God’s people in heart and mind.
Have you brought your motives into the light? Place it all out in the open before God until there is no hidden dishonesty or craftiness left in you.