Pastoral Commentary for Joshua 8:30-9:27
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Joshua was careful to follow the command that Moses had given him, and renewed the covenant between Israel and the LORD exactly as Moses instructed. The people were divided in two and the blessings and curses were read along with the whole Law that God had given through Moses. The people were without excuse. They knew what God expected and what He promised for obedience, as well as what He threatened for disobedience. After the covenant renewal the leaders of Israel were confronted with men claiming to come from a distant land and asking for a treaty of peace. Their provisions and clothing seemed to back of their story. The treaty was ratified by an oath of the assembly, when it was discovered that they had been taken in by a clever ruse and the people were really Canaanites from Gibeon trying to escape destruction, as had come upon Jericho and Ai. At that point Israel was bound by oath, and Joshua commanded that the Gibeonites be reduced to perpetual slavery, hauling water and cutting wood for the Israelites and the tabernacle of the Lord. The reason they found themselves caught in this untenable position is made clear in Deuteronomy 9:14: "The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD." To this day many people in this world try to deceive God's people about the truth. They tell us all kinds of lies about evolution, sexual immorality, and many other things. Unfortunately, too many of God's people are deceived because they fail to inquire about the truth from God's Holy Word, and find themselves trapped in an untenable situation. Never fail to seek God's truth in His Word.