Read 71.) Joshua 9:1 thru 12:24. Chapter 9 is about the Gibeonite deception of Joshua and Israel. It is very instructional, especially verses 14 thru 18. Joshua, and the leaders of Israel came to a conclusion, and made an important decision, on the basis of what their physical senses had told them. The Gibeonites intended to deceive them, so they caused this to happen. Joshua needed to take an important decision like this to the Lord in prayer, and seek His wisdom and guidance. It was Proverbs 3:5+6 time! Likewise, we need to always be doing the same. Further, note that they honored an oath that they had made… to their own hurt… even though it had been made under deceptive circumstances! Think on that for a moment! Wouldn’t we have considered such an oath to have been rendered null and void? I think we would have. What does this say to the issues of honor, integrity and character? Now, watch this… All the bad that just happened in chapter 9, is the very reason for all the good that is about to come about in chapter 10!
Chapter 10 is very helpful here. Verse 8 tells us that God would give Israel the victory, which is a testimony that what they did concerning the Gibeonites was respected by the Lord! This was that occasion when Joshua asked of God to stop the advance of the sunlight that day… and He did so! The sun stood still for a day! He was honoring Joshua as He had honored Moses, just as He said that He would! The rest of chapter 10 summarizes what has been called The Southern Campaign, where Joshua and Israel took all the land of the southern half of modern-day Israel. With chapter 11, the story advances to recount the taking of the northern half. The chapter closes with the war essentially over, and all of the land taken. Chapter 12 very quickly summarizes all that chapters 10 and 11 had just stated. Israel had been completely victorious over all the peoples of the Fertile Crescent. God had given the land to them, just as He had promised! As the One, True God; He is the faithful God, Who keeps all His word! All this resulted in the destruction of 31 kings and their people… all of their people. Today, we refer to such an act as genocide. So, what was this? Many reject the Bible because of this record right here. The God of the Bible is a blood-thirsty, genocidal maniac! No one could follow Him! Is He? All of the scripture is incredibly clear, and history amply attests, that these peoples were incredibly wicked and debauched. They engaged in unimaginable practices as matters of their very religions! Things we would never, ever consider doing. They sacrificed their children in fire to their gods. They engaged in all manner of sexual deviancy as forms of ‘worship‘ to their idolatrous deities. Today, they might largely be characterized as psychotic sociopathic cultures! In short, they were, in no way, to be considered as ‘innocent’. The description given of people from the time of Noah, in Genesis 6:5, 11+12, might well be fitting. In other words, they were being judged by God for all of their many heinous sins, and He was using Joshua and Israel to exact His judgment upon them. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell