Joshua 9 – The Grace of God to the Deceitful and Disobedient

It is thought by most commentators that the league made with Gibeon was typical of the admission of the Gentiles into the Christian Church: but without insisting upon that, we may justly deduce from it the following instructions:
1. That we ought without delay to seek the salvation of our souls
[The Gibeonites did not wait till Joshua had invested their cities, but, whilst he was yet at a distance, sent to desire conditions of peace. They believed that God had given the whole
land to Israel, and had ordered them to slay all the inhabitants, and that it was impossible to oppose them with success. They knew also that there was abundant evidence of God s power to execute all that his wisdom had decreed. Therefore they lost no time in seeking to arrest the hand of vengeance, and to obtain life on any terms. Did they then act thus for the life of their bodies, and shall not we for the life of our souls? I say then, Learn of these heathens: learn to come to JESUS ere it be too late. Stay not till you are besieged by sickness and death; but now, whilst the enemy appears distant, seek a covenant of peace and life. You need not cover your design with falsehoods, but rather declare the whole truth: and come at first, as they did after their imposture was detected; “Behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do.”]
2. That no man shall seek for mercy in vain
[The Gibeonites, though they obtained mercy by fraud, were spared from a respect for the honour of the God of Israel. Notwithstanding Joshua had been commanded to extirpate all,
yet were they spared, when once he had inadvertently passed his word in their favour. And shall not we be spared if we apply to the true Joshua? The Lord Jesus to whom we apply
“came into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” So far therefore is mercy from being contrary to the ends of his mission, it is the very end for which he came, that he might “seek and save that which was lost.” Moreover, if Jesus once admit you into covenant with himself, not all the universe shall ever prevail upon him to violate his engagements with you. If at any time he appear to frown upon you, you may take his covenant, and plead it with him at the throne of grace; “Do not abhor us for thy name sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory; remember, break not thy covenant with us.” What astonishing pleas are here! And shall they be used in vain? Had Joshua such respect for the honour of God, that he would not violate his inadvertent covenant, and shall not JESUS fulfill the covenant which he has ratified with his own blood? Surely none ever did, or ever shall, make application to him for mercy in vain.]
3. That, if we would obtain mercy, we must submit to the terms imposed upon us
[The Gibeonites accounted it no great matter to cede their cities, and to spend their days in servitude, seeing that their lives were spared. And shall we think much of sacrificing any
temporal interests, or of performing any self-denying duties, when we have reason to hope that God has spared the life of our souls? What if we be called to give up father and mother,
and houses and lands, for Christ’s sake; should we not “account them all as loss for Christ?” What if we be menaced with cruel torments and death for his sake; should we not say,
“None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto me, so that I may but fulfill his will, and finish my course with joy?” If we look for mercy at the hands of Jesus, all that we have, and all that we are, must be the Lord’s. Our whole life must be a life of self-denying obedience. Hear this then, ye Gibeonites, who desire a covenant of life and peace: these are the terms, and only these, that can ever be allowed you. But know ye this, that though they may appear hard to flesh and blood, they are not really hard: on the contrary, the service of God is perfect freedom; and it is “better to be doorkeeper in the house of your God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

Charles Simeon

Read Joshua 9 and consider the graciousness of God to sinners. If God be so good, what prevents you from surrendering your all to his terms of peace and daily taking up your cross and following him?

Posted on: August 8, 2019 - 10:00PM

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