Lack of confidence and fear will lead to defeat in our lives as we observed in an earlier blog post about Ai (Josh. 8). But over-confidence and compromise also defeat us. Because news had spread concerning the military exploits of Joshua and the Israelite army, all the Canaanite, Hitite, Amorite, Perizzite, Hivite and Jebusite kings gathered together in one accord to fight Joshua (Josh. 9:1-2). They were nervous.
This concern motivated Gibeon to act craftily and send out envoys in worn-out clothes pretending they were from far country so Joshua would make a covenant with them (Josh. 9:3-13). Israel took some of their provisions, but did not ask for the Lord’s counsel. Joshua made peace by entering into a covenant with them, leading to an oath to let them live (Josh. 9:14-15).
How easy to rush into things and not ask God what He thinks! Deception and compromise occur when we don’t ask for God’s counsel. As a result, the whole congregation grumbled against leaders (Josh. 9:18). Anyone, especially leaders, lose their credibility when they don’t stop and ask directions from God. The Gibeonites became slaves and took the most thankless jobs, hewers of wood and drawers of water, for the whole congregation (Josh. 9:21).
Of course, Joshua was angry for being deceived, which ultimately was his fault for not asking God what to do. Upon questioning the Gibeonite why they deceived him, they acknowledged Israel was following God’s command to destroy all the inhabitants of the land (Josh. 9:22-24). Their fear led to them lying.
A principle for parents or anyone in authority: Be careful not to threaten your children, employees or those you are managing, as they will lie to protect themselves. Instead, lead in prayer so the truth comes out in a relaxed, unrushed setting. Intimidated people lie to protect themselves. For business owners, ask for God’s counsel before forming any strategic partnerships to prevent any compromise of your mission.
Asking God for wisdom protects us from deception and compromise. For any decision you are facing, ask God for wisdom and listen to what He says to you, which could be a promise or principle from God’s word.