I’m intrigued by the story of the people of Gibeon who, seeing destruction on the horizon in the form of the relentlessly advancing Israeli nation coming out of the desert, decide to don some thrift-store thread bares and make like they’ve come from afar. In so doing, Joshua, the Hebrew leader, thinks these are actually NOT people slated for destruction (per God’s instruction) but just neighboring folks, so he makes a binding oath to leave them alone.
After the gig is up, and Joshua realizes he’s been duped, (and that it’s too late to reneg…being God’s reputation and all), the Gibeonites become their servants, which means they are now under Israeli protection as well.
Good thing that, because the Gibeonites’ neighbors are not too happy with them for defecting, and decided to gang up on them.
“They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon.”
But the Gibeonites knew their rights as servants of Israel (and by default, Israel’s God).
“The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. ‘Don’t abandon your servants now!’ they pleaded. ‘Come at once! Save us! Help us!’”
The outcome is pretty predictable:
“So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon. ‘Do not be afraid of them,’ the LORD said to Joshua, ‘for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.’”
See that? Including their best warriors! We’re not talking second string, here. Not only that, but the victory for the Gibeonites, these people who came under God’s protect by way of deception, this was also the same place where one of the great miracles of scripture is recorded:
“So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.”
Here’s my point, and it’s called “qol va-homer”, which means “how much more?”
In other words, if God would do all that, i.e., receive people into His service because of fear via deception, and not only be faithful to them in danger, but also work miracles on their behalf…
HOW MUCH MORE…
…will He, now because of His Son, Jesus Christ, welcome us into His family, provide, protect, forgive, and love us, not as mere servants, but as children of the King?!?
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.”
Now, that’s a rags to riches story, if ever there was one.
Joshua 10:5-8,13; Luke 15:20-24 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.