“However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded[ with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended. 5 They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy. 6 Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.” 7 The Israelites said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us, so how can we make a treaty with you?”  8 “We are your servants,” they said to Joshua.  But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?”  9 They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God. For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, 10 and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan—Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth. 11 And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’ 12 This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is. 13 And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”  14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.  16 Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. 17 So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. 18 But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the Lord, the God of Israel.”  (Joshua 9:3—18)


            Joshua and the leaders of Israel fell for deception.  A group of Gibeonites resorted to a ruse and disguised themselves in order to deceive Joshua.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a leader or called by God to lead; we are all human and can be easily deceived by others and our surroundings.  Joshua continues to make the same mistake that he did when Ai, a smaller country, defeated and slaughtered 36 individuals among their ranks. 

            Joshua miscalculates the situation.  He did not know that Achan had deceived him by stealing the forbidden things and causing Israel to be defeated.  Joshua, as an able and capable leader, still falls for deception.  Here, he had an intuition about the Gibeonites.  He questioned them.  He listened to their sorry story but again fell for deception.  Joshua and his leaders did not only fall for the Gibeonite’s SORRY STORY, but they also SAMPLED the Gibeonite’s bread.  They did not continue to press where they came from.  Joshua did not SEEK the Lord in the matter, but he went ahead and MADE A TREATY with the rest of the leaders of the assembly ratifying the treaty.

            THREE DAYS AFTER THEY MADE A TREATY,  the Israelites heard the Gibeonites were their neighbor, and they lived among them.  These were the very first things Joshua asked them when before he gave them the peace treaty.  Joshua did not follow through with his questioning, nor did he seek God but fell for their SORRY AND SAMPLED GOODS.   


Deception is not that far away from any of us. It was great to be reminded to be careful of believing a SORRY STORY and SAMPLE OF FAKE GOODS. This story reminded me to always seek God first and not rely on my own understanding. I must acknowledge God and allow him to be a part of all that I do. So many times, we fall for sorry stories and are deceived by false pretentious evidence of deception. I will continue to trust God rather than fall for sorry stories. 


            Jesus, I ask that you help me have empathy but not fall for sorry stories and fake evidence in life. Please teach me and give me a discerning heart and a mind that sees through things that I hear so I may make wise decisions. Please strengthen me on the inside so that I can make the right decisions in everything that I hear.  Please give me your wisdom so I may differentiate between truth and deception.  Amen!