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March 15 – Deception rather than repentance

“Joshua said to them, “Who are you? And where do you come from?” They said to him, “From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan.” – Joshua 9:8b-10a

Scripture reading: Joshua 9:1-15

A whole group of Canaanite kings gathered together to fight against Israel because they heard what happened to Jericho and to Ai. When the Gibeonites approached Joshua to ask him to enter into a covenant with them, they didn’t mention Jericho or Ai, but they had certainly heard about what happened to them. That’s what prompted them to make a covenant with Israel. They had undoubtedly heard about Rahab and how Israel treated her.

When Rahab, along with everyone in that part of the world, heard what God had done in Egypt and on the other side of the Jordan, she repented and put her faith in Israel’s God. According to their promise, Israel spared her and her family when Jericho was destroyed. That was also known in Canaan.

The Gibeonites seemed to realize that there was no hope in fighting Israel. They didn’t want to be destroyed, like Jericho and Ai, but they didn’t want to repent like Rahab, either. So they exploited Israel’s faithfulness and God’s mercy by tricking Joshua into making a covenant with them.

We confess that our neighbours may be won for Christ by our godly walk of life and we should pray that they will be. But we shouldn’t be surprised – or discouraged – when sometimes, our neighbours want to share in the benefit of the life Christ has created among us without turning to Him in repentance and faith.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to use your godly walk of life to win your neighbours for Christ and to help you persevere in seeking to lead them to salvation in Him.

Rev. Dick Wynia is currently the minister of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, ON.

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