Google+ 11/14/13 Drink and Share the Living Water or Be Enslaved By It for the Rest of Your Lives!

Joshua 9:22-27

 

Joshua called together the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you lie to us?

Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us?

May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants

Who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.”

They replied, “We did it because we—your servants—

Were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses

To give you this entire land and to destroy all the people living in it.

So we feared greatly for our lives because of you.

That is why we have done this. 

 Now we are at your mercy—do to us whatever you think is right.”

So Joshua did not allow the people of Israel to kill them.

But that day he made the Gibeonites the woodcutters and water carriers for the community of Israel

And for the altar of the Lord—wherever the Lord would choose to build it.

And that is what they do to this day.

 

In part sixteen of our eighteen-part devotion series entitled, "Water, Water, Everywhere!" we turn to Joshua for an extremely important lesson we should all learn and digest.  As we know, Joshua was appointed by God to complete the tasks that were given to Moses.  One of those major tasks was the conquering of all the people that inhabited the "Promised Land."  Systematically, as commanded by God, Joshua went from one kingdom to another, conquering the given land for God's people.  The Gibeonites were on God's hit list!  In order to avoid what would certainly be their fate of death, they formed an alliance with Joshua through a series of lies.  There was nothing in their testimony that was true.  They lied about who they were, where they lived, and what they believed.  As is always the case in malicious deceit, their lies were discovered.  Joshua confronts them in our Scripture today and asks them why these lies have been perpetrated.  To the credit of the Gibeonites, they confess that their sins had been committed out of fear for their lives.  That was a true statement.  They conclude by asking for mercy and leaving their lives in Joshua's hands.  Let's be careful with what we conclude from Joshua's actions.  Even though their deceit was confessed, they did not receive a pardon from Joshua.  He did spare their lives, but made them slaves of their sin forever.  Actions have consequences, particularly intentionally ungodly ones.  We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  Many of our sins are not deliberate, and when we discover the hurt we have unintentionally inflicted on others, we repent and are truly sorry.  God forgives us and hopefully so do those Christians that we hurt.  This is certainly what God intended when He talked about forgiveness.  Holding malice in your heart and attempting to intentionally hurt someone is quite another matter.  The Gibeonites knew full well what they were doing and the intentional deceit and hurt they were causing.  They did not care who got hurt or why.  They only cared about themselves and their own lives.  On top of that, the truth was that everything they said were lies!!!  Water can be such a blessing in so many ways, but if you are forced to carry it from "Point A to Point B" as a slave, water takes on a WHOLE new meaning!  The Gibeonites were condemned to a life of slavery, carrying water and cutting wood for the rest of their days, including their ancestors.  Don't miss this point.  The parents affected the lives of their children with their treachery, yet the children were innocent.  This is why God instructs us to pray for our enemies and not intentionally try to hurt or destroy them.  God is responsible for judgment and He is very good at His job!   We may be able to lie to people or even ourselves, for a season and get away with it.  We can't lie to God for a second.  He always knows.  "Drink and Share the Living Water or Be Enslaved By It For The Rest of Your Lives!"