Joshua 9:13-21

The Power of a Covenant Oath


Joshua 9:13-21 these wineskins which we filled were new and behold, they are torn and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey so the men of Israel took some of their provisions and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them to let them live and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them it came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them that they heard that they were neighbors and that they were living within their land then the sons of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day now their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim the sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD the God of Israel and the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders but all the leaders said to the whole congregation we have sworn to them by the LORD the God of Israel and now we cannot touch them this we will do to them even let them live so that wrath will not be upon us for the oath which we swore to them the leaders said to them, let them live so they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation just as the leaders had spoken to them here we find a very interesting situation where the sons of Israel confronted a people called the Gibeonites they didn’t reveal they were Gibeonites they were meant to be killed God had told them to eradicate the Hivites from the land Gibeonites were Hivites these people knew they were next in line they heard what happened to Jericho and that’s why they devised this plan if we tell them we’ve come from very far away then they will not harm us and if they make a covenant with us they will not kill us that is exactly what happened what we see here is a most amazing thing that Joshua kept his word his oath that he made to the Gibeonites even though it was made under false pretenses even though the Gibeonites lied to him, deceived him verse 14 is the key it says the men of Israel took some of their provision and did not ask the counsel of the LORD they didn’t walk in spirit and truth they didn’t ask God what was truth they didn’t ask God to find out what was going on they just assumed that what the Gibeonites said, was true and the consequence of that was they let people live that God had commanded them not to let live but the most amazing thing is when they repented they asked God what to do after they had made a mistake apparently the LORD said now you keep your word even though it was a covenant that never should have been made God so honored that covenant that in the next chapter 5 Kings from the north came down and attacked the Gibeonites they called on Israel to fight for them then the very next chapter chapter 10 we find Israel fighting for the Gibeonites a people that they should not have even made a covenant with should not have even spared before and now what we see is God actually stops the sun in the sky because the battle is carrying on into the evening God stops the sun so that Joshua and the Israelites can vanquish the enemies of the Gibeonites these people that should not have even lived and the reason is because Joshua was a man of honor who kept his word even when he made a covenant that should have never have been made the point is this has God called you to keep a word that may be difficult sometimes circumstances change and people say I don’t want to honor what I said before because the circumstances are all different Joshua a man of integrity kept his word even when he had been lied to when he entered into it is there a word God is calling you to keep today is there a business decision that you made that you wish you hadn’t is there a difficult word a promise that you’ve given to somebody, an oath that you’ve made that you wish you hadn’t God is calling you to keep that oath to keep your word today is the day to be a man or a woman of integrity let your word, your yes be yes and your no be no walk in such a way that you will keep an oath you will keep a word that you’ve given even in difficult circumstances


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