In Joshua chapter 9, we find the story of the Israelites being deceived by the Gibeonites. These Canaanites claimed they were from a faraway land, so that the people of God would make a covenant with them. When they’d tricked the Israelites, they asked for their aid in a huge battle with five other nations.
From this story, we see Joshua and the children of Israel exemplify three key truths about covenant making as a child of God:
- Making covenants without consulting God is a mistake. The Israelites could have avoided the entire situation if they’d taken the time to ask God what His will was. Instead, they went right ahead and made an irrevocable covenant that would cost them dearly.
- Joshua and the people stayed faithful to their covenant. When the Gibeonites asked for help, they could have refused. Instead, the Israelites rushed to their aid. Why? Not because the help was deserved, but because Israel chose to be a nation of its word.
- Their faithfulness (and ours) points to the most Faithful One. This story is a reflection of the bigger covenant God has made with His imperfect people. We let God down daily, and frequently break our promises. However, His faithfulness isn’t dependent on us. Even when we didn’t deserve it, God came to our aid through His Son, Jesus Christ, so that we could be saved and be in covenant with Him forever.
Be careful what kind of a friend you are. Are you trustworthy? Do you keep your word? Are you a reflection of our faithful God to those around you?
Dr. Derek Grier