“Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.”
The men of Gibeon pulled off quite a scam. They went to great lengths to look like something they were not, in order to fool Israel into making a treaty with them. Old clothes, worn out shoes, moldy bread, all made it appear they had traveled a great distance. In reality, they lived within the borders of Israel’s land. Joshua and the other leaders of the nation were duped by the Gideonite’s ruse because when faced with this dilemma, they used their senses, rather than the Word of God. Had they taken the time to pray, God would have revealed to them the true nature of the Gibeonites. His Word already spoke regarding the inhabitants of the Land; Israel was to drive them out.
The reason for removing the inhabitants was quite simple. God knew the weakness of His people; they were easily influenced by the lifestyles of the people around them. He knew it would not be long before Israel was tempted to take on the sinful practices of the nations around them. To protect His people, He removed the temptation.
Sin, like the Gibeonites, is quite deceptive. It looks appealing, and even promises to bring gain to our lives. In reality, sin is always destructive. Too often, we make covenants of compromise, rather than driving things out of our lives. Sometimes, we leave things at arms distance, only to find that, in a moment of weakness, we fall into it again.
Paul reminds us of what to do with sin and the old life.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”