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Monday, December 22, 2014

Unknown: Word Ambassadors: Prayers and Poetry


Reading: Joshua 9

“‘And now we are in your hand; do as it seems good and right in your sight to do to us.’ This is what he did for them; he saved them from the Israelites; and they did not kill them. But on that day Joshua made them hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, to continue to this day, in the place that he should chose.” Joshua 9: 25-27

Like Rahab the Gibeonites believed in the words God had spoken and feared greatly for their lives. Unlike Rahab, instead of standing up and making a verbal contract, they used guile and deception to save their lives. They also hoped that the Israelites would honor a covenant because of their God.

And they did. “We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we must not touch them.” Joshua knew that the word they gave to others had to be upheld. Especially because it was their own error that created this dilemma. Once again they had not sought the Lord’s counsel but negotiated solely on human perception—on surface appearances.

I cringe too at how many times I continue to act on my own before seeking the Lord’s counsel, how often I think I have everything under control and instead bring embarrassment to the Lord’s name.

Yet the Lord blessed both Israelites and Gibeonites because they both trusted His words. Israel’s leaders experienced another important lesson in leadership and the Gibeonites not only kept their physical lives but were also given the means to discover the spiritual life of Israel as well. They worked for the house of God. Every day they would now see faith lived out.

They were willing to face the unknown. They believed God’s promises to Israel before they even had any relationship with the Lord. Now they had a lifetime to learn who He was. Somewhat like us, I think, when we first step out in faith. And God changes us from the inside out cutting away the sin that we carry—the sin we often do not even recognize.

The Gibeonites admitted to Joshua that he would do with them whatever he chose, but even if they died right then, they wanted to die under God’s words of truth—or be slaves under His words if in fact they would live.

Lord, please give us eyes to see You as clearly today.


Psalm of Worship: Psalm 129: 4

“The Lord is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.”


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