Lesson 8Joshua 9:1-27
In this lesson, we will observe the continuation of the campaign of Joshua’s forces, as they begin preparation for the battles that will make occupation of the land possible. Jericho and Ai were, tactically, very important early victories, enabling them to now make plans to fully occupy the land. The territories within the Promised Land can be segregated into coastal, valley, and hillside areas, each with its own challenges, and each occupied by different nations or tribes.
As the campaign to occupy begins in earnest, we come face to face with a deception, or ruse, that the Israelis fall victim to, as they once again have forgotten the importance of allowing God to lead. As we as a local congregation face many decisions in the days ahead, there are many lessons that we can learn from our study this week. Perhaps the same is true for you in the decisions that lie ahead in your life. Without the advice and counsel of God, we have no assurance of success and we have every assurance of the possibility of being deceived and defeated.
Let us commit this week to consider the importance of making proper judgments in our lives as Christians, understanding that there increased likelihood of making those judgments correctly if we ask for God’s counsel in all that we do.
Let’s begin our study by reading Joshua Chapter 9 and considering the following:
- After reading Joshua 9:1, describe the territories, or geographies, that are represented in this verse. Can you list them?
- How does the list of kings in Joshua 9:1 compare with the list given in Deuteronomy 20:17?
- What was to happen to kings listed in Deuteronomy 20:17?
- It is interesting to note that the Hivites from Gideon feared the Israelis, but also thought that they were gullible enough to be tricked. The ruse, or deception, that they conceived consisted of two parts: their clothing, baggage, animals, etc., and the story they told when arriving at Gilgal. Based on your findings in Chapter 9, in the space below list the specific things that they did to trick Joshua and the leaders by their appearance, as well as with their deceptive story.
- In the story that the Hivites concocted in Joshua 9:6-13, they mentioned details about the Jews in Egypt, their deliverance, and battles in the wilderness, but nothing about Ai and Jericho. Why?
- How did the Hivites know these details? (see Josh. 8:35, Deut. 11:3-4, Deut. 2:24-31, and Deut. 29:2-8)
- Did the Hivites know about God’s plan to destroy them, or were they afraid because of what they heard had happened at Jericho and Ai? (se Josh. 9:1 and Josh. 9:24)
- What was God’s command concerning the Hivites and the other five kings? (see Deuteronomy 20:17)
- What was God’s command concerning the cities that were far away, or distant, and not one of these six? (see Deuteronomy 20:10-15)
- In Joshua 9:21, the decision is made to allow the Hivites from Gibeon to live. However, they are given two jobs to do in their role as servants within the camp. What are those two jobs? What jobs were normally given to aliens or strangers living within the camp? (see Deut. 29:11)
- Realizing that he had been deceived, does Joshua continue to keep his part of the bargain? (see Josh. 9:26-27)
- What truths can we learn from this about our responsibility to make correct judgments?
- What can we learn from this lesson about making agreements, covenants, and alliances?
- What can we learn from this lesson about the world around us and its relationship to the Church?
Working in God’s kingdom requires us to be diligent in our relationships, diligent in our judgments, in diligent in our decision-making, so that Satan doesn’t get his foot in the door dressed as an angel of God. Whether in your personal life, in your business life, or with respect to your responsibilities at Church, we need God to be our leader, our advisor, and our counselor. Only He can see through to the real heart of a person. Motives, agendas, and the reliability of alliances and allegiances may not be known to us, but they are to God.
Proverbs 3:5 says it best: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." Make Christ the center of your life today. Start by reading Proverbs Chapter 3; you will be amazed at the wisdom, peace, and hope contained within it.
May God richly bless you as you study His Holy Word with us.
Yours in Christ,