7-10-12. Joshua 9b. WE HAVE GIVEN OUR OATH TO THE LORD-devotional

7-10-12. Joshua 9b. WE HAVE GIVEN OUR OATH TO THE LORD-devotional


Joshua 9:16-27   Key Verse: 9:19
Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“ but all the leaders answered, “We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now”

Dear Lord, thank you for teaching me that you draw people to yourself and invite them to come to you. If they choose not to do it then you wait and hope and gently lead them with your shepherd’s staff. Help me enter into a new Christian relationship with my family members. Help us all to, freely come to Jesus out of personal conviction of heart and love for God. I pray that you guide each one of us and help us to mature in our faith. Please help me to accept one word of God in my heart today. I thank you and I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

Part 1: We Must Keep Our Oaths (16-22).

Verses 16-22 read, “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. The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders, 19 but all the leaders answered, “We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now. 20 This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them.” 21 They continued, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly.” So the leaders’ promise to them was kept. 22 Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us?

After the treaty was ratified, the Gibeonites’ true identity was revealed. By failing to seek God’s guidance and going ahead with their own plans, they now faced an angry people and an awkward alliance. Joshua and his advisors had made a grave mistake. But because of God’s command that oaths be kept and the seriousness of breaking them, they kept their word. Justice and rule of law prevailed. However, it made them unpopular.

Like Joshua, we must take our oaths to God and people seriously, even if they do not make us popular among the people. I thank God for America and the rule of law in our country. On the books, we are to be considered innocent until proven guilty. This is mostly upheld in the court of law, but it might cost you a lot of money for some good lawyers. We live in a culture, where contracts are upheld. If it is written on paper then it should be upheld. But most of all, God’s people need to be the kind of people who uphold their commitments and promised and contracts. They need to be a people who say the truth and do the truth, even if it makes them unpopular among other believers. This does not mean to stand up for things that are unbiblical, but to stand up for the gospel. It means keeping true to something that is God wants.

Part 2: They Received Merciful Bondage (23-27).

Verses 23-27, “You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God. 24 They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. 25 We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.” 26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. 27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.”

What ever happened to these deceptive Canaanites? God had mercy on them. They were forced to be water carriers for the house of God, meaning, they were assigned to slavery in the tabernacle. This was God’s mercy to them, for they were brought daily into the glory and joy of the Lord in his tabernacle (Ps 84:10). It was a good bondage. Later, they served a high position in the temple.

God is merciful. At first we think that what happened to them was suffering slavery but not so. It turned out to be a great blessing for them and their descendents. God is love. There is no opportunity for him not to love. He is light. In him there is no darkness at all. If you surrender yourself and your life to Jesus you will only be blessed. Some young people today think that surrendering themselves to Jesus and the Gospel cause is one step towards slavery and bondage and that they will loose the joy of life. But that is a deception from the devil and our own self deception. How can believing in Jesus going to church, ruin your life, when billions of people testify the greatness of knowing God? All I see is goodness being in Christ and being among the people of God. It is joyful and blessed subjection. It only strengthens us and we and our descendants can only be blessed, just as the Gibeonites were blessed.

I became subjected to my Lord and Savior and King Jesus in 1986. I was appointed to be a shepherd and Bible teacher for the flock of God. I served in lowly positions in ministry. But I have been blessed. My kids have been blessed. They have a bright future and they know what it means to live a spiritual life. They have strength to overcome the world.

I need to subject myself to God and his ways. The most recent way I can do this is to accept the new relationship I have with my kids. I have decided to trust God with their lives and respect their choices in regards to ministry and Christian life, even if that means that they choose not to go to church. This is tough to do. It shakes the very foundation of how I have lived since 1986. But I need to submit to the God and trust God and know that when I do I will be blessed.

Prayer: Lord, please help me to uphold your justice and mercy by keeping my oaths to you and to others in my life and help me to subject myself to Jesus and the will of God.

One Word: God will bless.

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