Keeping our Word
In Joshua 9 there is an interesting event we read about regarding the Gibeonites deceiving Joshua and the Israelites regarding who they were and where they had come from. To summarize, the Gibeonites had heard about the conquest of the Israelites and had become very afraid about the prospect of having to face them on the battlefield, so they come up with a plan to take advantage of the Israelites' kindness and deceive them into making a covenant of peace with them. We are told that they came to Joshua and the leaders of Israel and said to them, “‘We are your servants.’ And Joshua said to them, ‘Who are you? And where do you come from?’ They said to him, ‘From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth. So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country said to us, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants. Come now, make a covenant with us.”’ Here is our bread. It was still warm when we took it from our houses as our food for the journey on the day we set out to come to you, but now, behold, it is dry and crumbly. These wineskins were new when we filled them, and behold, they have burst. And these garments and sandals of ours are worn out from the very long journey’” (vv.8-13). Thus, Joshua and the leaders make a covenant with them and promise not to harm them. But then we are told later that Joshua and the leaders discovered that the Gibeonites had deceived them and tricked them into making a covenant with them and that many of the people of Israel wanted to put the Gibeonites to death. “But all the leaders said to all the congregation, ‘We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them. This we will do to them: let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath that we swore to them’” (vv.19-20). Truly amazing that the Israelites chose to keep their promise even though they had been deceived into making it. Psalm 15:4 tells us that a righteous person “swears to his own hurt and does not change.” And in Matthew 5:33ff. Jesus says we should let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no’. In other words, we should say what we mean and mean what we say. As Christians we should be people of our word no matter how difficult it may be to keep that promise or whether we think we have been deceived into making that promise. This, of course, is why we should follow the instruction of James 1:19 and be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” We should think carefully before making promises. But once we do, we should keep our word.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
Daily Thoughts is a daily short post to encourage and help you grow in your faith. If you would like to receive these direct to your in-box, please subscribe.
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies