【Bible Study】Joshua 09: All Who Do Not Resist God Will Survive
Bible Study: Joshua
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 00: Introduction
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 01: You Will Lead The People To Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 02: Anyone Who Seek God Will Also Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 03: God Will Honour His Established Leaders On The Way of Possessing the Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 04: Commemorating the Works of Our God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 05: God is Our Victorious Marshal
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 06: God Has Already Put the Enemy in Our Hands
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 07: The Devoted Things are the Cause of Failure in Spiritual Warfare
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 08: Blessings and Curses Determine Victory and Defeat
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 09: All Who Do Not Resist God Will Survive
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 10: All Those Who Are Enemies of God Will Perish
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 11: Left Nothing Undone
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 12: Live Victoriously on Earth
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 13: There Are Still Very Large Areas of Land to be Taken Over
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 14: Follow God Wholeheartedly, and You Will Acquire the Promises
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 15: Be Bold Enough to Ask God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 16: Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 17: Properties are Obtained Through Striving and Seizing it
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 18-19: Inheriting the Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 20: Designate the Cities of Refuge
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 21: Not One of All God's Good Promises Will Fail
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 22: Do you truly trust in God?
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 23: Warning the Israelites the Consequences of Turning Away from God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 24: You Shall Serve God Wholeheartedly
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 25 Conclusion: Serve God Wholeheartedly
Let's read the Bible and read the mind of God. I've said repeatedly, "Read the mind of God." Let's read this Joshua chapter 9, and let me ask you one thing, did God intend to kill the Gibeonites? The answer is obvious, God did not intend to kill the Gibeonites. Although the Gibeonites chose a different path than Rahab, they survived. What can we see through the book of Joshua? We can see that God is full of grace and mercy.
But many people do not see that God is gracious or merciful. I dare to tell you boldly what would happen if all the people of the whole land of Canaan came to seek God as Rahab did. God would never strike them down. But you will find that all the people in this part of Canaan were hardened in heart and came together to fight against Joshua and the Israelites. But there were some people, the Gibeonites, who were not so hardened.
What do the Gibeonites belong to? They belonged to a tribe of the Amorites. The Gibeonites tricked the Israelites and made a covenant with them, but they survived. I ask you: if the Israelites had sought the LORD at that time, what kind of answer do you think the LORD would have given them? Of course, the Israelites were deceived, and they forgot to seek God, but later, the result proved that the Israelites allowed them to live, and God did not let them lose the battle like in Ai because the Israelites allowed the Gibeonites to live. Do you understand?
We have to read God's mind. What is this chapter talking about? Is it about keeping the covenant? I don't think it fits. Is it about the Israelites being deceived? I don't think so. What is it really about? I pondered and found that it's about as long as you do not resist God, you'll survive.
Our God gradually began to show us miracles through the Book of Joshua. God declared a capital offence in the city of Jericho:
When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. (Joshua 6:20-21 NIV)
Everything that breathed in the city of Jericho, even the cattle, women, children, and domestic animals, were killed. As a result, there was one exception, Rahab. It is amazing that Rahab was not only saved in the city of Jericho but also appears in the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Rahab was a very wise man, but let's look at the Gibeonites. They didn't resist God, and as a result, they chose a worse way. The Gibeonites were interesting; they said things that were a little bit like Rahab in a way.
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, 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. 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." ’
(Joshua 9:9-11 NIV)
It's a very interesting phenomenon that this Gibeonite was actually among those who were sentenced to death, but they escaped the death penalty and were left behind. After being left behind, they actually became part of the Israelites, and do you know why this happened? Let me give you a little bit of its history: From this time, after many years, a king came out of Israel called Saul, and he became zealous for Israel, so he killed many Gibeonites, and as a result, by the time David became king, Israel experienced three years of natural disasters in that place.
Then, three years later, David sought God. What did God say to David? The three years of disaster were because King Saul, in his zeal for Israel, had killed many Gibeonites, breaking the covenant that Israel had made. In fact, the Gibeonites didn't deserve to be killed; they actually didn't do anything. When David was king, the curse came on that place because the previous king had done something that was not in God's will.
Then, after David sought God, he came to the Gibeonites and said, "What shall we do?" And the Gibeonites said to give them the seven men from Saul's house, and all seven of them were killed and hung in that place. This happened in David's time.
David went to Nob, to Ahimelek the priest. Ahimelek trembled when he met him, and asked, "Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?"
David answered Ahimelek the priest, "The king sent me on a mission and said to me, ‘No one is to know anything about the mission I am sending you on.’ As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find."
But the priest answered David, "I don’t have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women."
David replied, "Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!" So the priest gave him the consecrated bread since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away. (1 Samuel 21:1-6 NIV)
This shows clearly that the Gibeonites did not just make a covenant with the Israelites because they sought God, although they sought God in a commendable way. In fact, they are a bit different from the story of Rahab. Rahab sought God, but the Gibeonites sought to make a covenant with Israel; what do we see through this? Those who do not resist God will survive. So as long as we do not resist God, God has abundant grace and mercy, let alone when we obey God.
So, brothers and sisters, start to have a new understanding of our God. Our God is not trying to exterminate these people, but rather let them to know Him and that they can survive if they do not resist Him.In fact, our God would rather not keep his word than kill a person who obeys God's will or does not resist God's plan. Who are the people who are killed? They are those who are hardened in their hearts and think they are righteous.
There are brothers and sisters who have just come to us and have been saved by grace, and we see the power of God manifested in them. Is it because they really know God? No, it is because they heard what God had done among us and came to seek God, and then they experienced God among us.
Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things—the kings in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Mediterranean Sea as far as Lebanon (the kings of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites)— they came together to wage war against Joshua and Israel. (Joshua 9:1-2 NIV)
We must know that God is full of grace and mercy. God actually did not want to kill these people, but they were hardened in their hearts, which is enmity with God. They wanted to fight against the Israelites, but some of them did not want to fight against the Israelites. Those who did not fight survived, and they not only survived but also became the enemies of the local people, and later the local people would attack these Gibeonites. You see how bad these people are! In fact, have they ever heard of the story of Rahab? I'm sure they have. Have they heard of the story of the Gibeonites? Yes, but they did not turn back to God.
In the process of serving God, we find that many people are so hardened in their hearts that they end up being enemies of God. If you meet some people who say, "Oh, the God of the Bible, he is so hard, he kills people at will," Then you can quote the story of Rahab, quote the story of the Gibeonites, and tell them that it's actually not like that at all. So we must begin to see God's grace and mercy, as well as God's blessings and curses. What would have happened to the common people of Israel if these people had been given to the Israelites? They would kill them. Why do I say that?
So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. (Joshua 9:26 NIV)
From this verse, we can see that these people wanted to kill these Gibeonites, and these people's knowledge of God was outrageous.
Why was it Joshua who delivered the Gibeonites from the hands of the Israelites? because Joshua knew God better and the Gibeonites knew God relatively well. We all need to know clearly in our hearts that our God is full of grace and mercy.
The Gibeonites were among these slain people, but they turned to God, not even seeking God but just seeking a covenant with Joshua and the Israelites, they heard the name of the Lord God and what He had done in Egypt, and they said, "We will be your servants." and God let them live. Then, if we turn to God properly, how great the grace we will receive will be!
and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." (Matthew 3:2 NIV)
So repentance is a key step. We have to know God, repent, know that we have been wrong in the past, and we must come out of the wrong theological concepts. The other day I was ministering to a sister whose child was suffering from depression, and it was very fatal. Despite having personally experienced a lot of God's grace, this sister was either a little religious or had a little worldly system in ministering to her child.
Has our God struck us down? No. Does God have mercy? Yes. Even if we still have many things that we haven't changed, many faults that we haven't changed, if we turn back to God and grow step by step and know God step by step, we will receive great grace. I think today we may not be able to do many things right, but it is because our God is full of grace and mercy that we can survive to this day. What is the reason for that? It is because we are simply seeking God.
What a wonderful God ours is! Recently another group of people came among us, somewhat like the Gibeonites, who were among the people who drew God's wrath, but they began not to resist God, so God was still gracious to them. Our God is full of grace and mercy, and it would be great to have that imprinted in your mind!
Never resist God's plan. What happened to the Israelites during the time of Jesus, especially the Pharisees and the chief priests, who resisted God? They became a model of the curse, and later, the Israelites experienced the history of the fall of the nation, which was quite cruel. And what did the Gibeonites believe? We all must know that we get what we believe. Don't ever think that we have to believe in everything in order to receive grace.
These Gibeonites, for example, believed that God is a covenant-keeping God because they heard that God made a covenant with Abraham, the ancestor of the Jews and the Israelites, and that God kept his covenant of love with the Israelites, showed mercy to them, and then brought them out of Egypt, not because those Israelites were good, but because of the covenant that God made with Abraham.
Even if the group of Israelites in Egypt were bad, God still saved them; even if they provoked God's wrath in the wilderness and that generation died, God still brought this new generation of Israelites to the land of Canaan. In other words, the Gibeonites studied and studied and studied and found that God is a covenant-keeping God. Good! Let's make a covenant with the Israelites! They believed in this covenant.
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? You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God."
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. We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you." (Joshua 9:22-25 NIV)
They believed that if they made a covenant with Israel, the God of Israel would keep them and save them from death, and as a result, they received what they believed in. Then I would like to challenge you, we get what we believe in, so why don't we believe a little more? If the Gibeonites had believed a little more, they would have become Rahab, wouldn't they? But many people don't believe it. In fact, this explains the phenomenon that there are many churches now, and although they do not talk about victory, they have gained the things they believed in and did not gain those things they do not believe in. For example, many people are very zealous in serving God, and they have paid a heavy price for God, but they do not believe that God is a God of healing, so they do not receive healing.
These Gibeonites did not believe more because they only believed that God was a covenant-keeping God. If they had known God's grace and mercy like Rahab and believed that they would be saved by coming to God's side, would they not have received more?
In fact, God does not pronounce His judgement according to whether you are an Israelite or a Canaanite, but according to what one believes in his heart. What a wonderful story it would be if we could trust God a little more and these Gibeonites could believe in God a little more! But these Gibeonites did not seek God more deeply.
Are there some people who are like Gibeonites? The only thing they want when they come among us is, "Please pray for me." I can pray for you, but why don't you desire to be like us? There are many new brothers and sisters among us; can these people begin to have the desire to say, "I want to be like them?"
Why don't you seek God and then desire even more to enter God's will, desire even more to enter God's plan, desire even more to obtain your destiny?And not just stay like the Gibeonites, just seek to live, be the woodcutters and water carriers, and only receive second-hand grace? Rahab received a very good promise and became a member of the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Whoever seeks God, can we believe that God has more promises, grace, and wonderful works? If we knew God a little more, and we began to desire to live to the glory of God, and we began to desire to be God's people, and we began to desire to receive the promises of God, we would be able to say, as Paul said, "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ." How wonderful would that be?
We need to know today that God is a God of grace and mercy, and whoever seeks him and trusts in him will not be put to shame. Whoever believes in his promises will receive them. We receive in proportion to our faith in God!
You can see clearly among us how many people were healed by our prayers before the Bible study. Why were these people not healed in the original church but came to be healed here? Because when you come to us, if you believe you will be healed, you will be. We believe that God is a God of healing, so there are constant healings among us, and that is what God's word originally said. He who does not resist God will live, and what an abundance of grace will be given to him who stands with him and follows him closely!
Yesterday, one of our sisters had a conflict with her mother because her mother found it too difficult to follow us in the faith. I think we're asking for too much.
Is it good or bad for us to do this? Brothers and sisters need to know exactly that because we believe, we have received, and we would like to see more people receive. Sometimes we even call out to heaven and earth and tell everyone with our hearts that God is faithful and His promises are wonderful, but many people do not believe! Can you receive it if you don't believe it? You won't.
We must start learning to believe in God. In fact, in this case, the Israelites didn't seek God. Later, they didn't kill these people. Did they seek God? I don't think so. But God didn't blame them. You'll see that Joshua led the Israelites to deal with this matter, which is actually the heart of God.
Then we begin to **take a step up from this Gibeonite mentality and stop being a second-hand grace seeker and begin to desire to have a destiny, make the kind of choice Rahab made, have a deeper relationship with God, enter more deeply into God's heart, not just to seek to survive, but to seek to live abundantly, to seek to live in God's plan, to take up God's mission in this generation. I'm telling you; you will surely be going to receive.
So, these Gibeonites among us need to know that it is not God's best intention to seek only to survive. Then I would like to encourage our brothers and sisters who have not been here long—can they come out of this servant mentality and begin to become the children of God?
In fact, God has clearly stipulated in the Law of Moses that if you want to become an Israelite, it is not at all difficult, no matter where you are from, you can seek God. Our God is not the God of Israel alone, but the God of the whole earth, the God of all people, and whoever seeks him and trusts in him lacks no good thing.
In fact, if the Gibeonites take a few more steps forward, they will truly become Israelites, people who truly know God and bear the promises of Abraham. It doesn't matter whether we are Gibeonites in our flesh or not; as long as the faith of Abraham is inherited in us, we have the covenant of Abraham! What a rich glory of God's grace and His wonderful plan for us! I encourage all of us to begin to make a choice between blessings and curses.
There, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on stones a copy of the law of Moses. All the Israelites, with their elders, officials and judges, were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD , facing the Levitical priests who carried it. Both the foreigners living among them and the native-born were there. Half of the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel.
Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law—the blessings and the curses—just as it is written in the Book of the Law. (Joshua 8:32-34 NIV)
Are blessings and curses predetermined by God for you? No, it is a choice made by you and me. If you read the Bible carefully, you will find that the choice of these Gibeonites caused them to escape death, while those Canaanites who resisted the Israelites were literally all destroyed by Joshua.
Blessings and curses are right in front of us, it's up to you to choose. I encourage brothers and sisters to begin to walk away from the curses" and then begin to trust in God's promises, and trust in God's covenant, and then enter the covenant that we have made with God, and all the most wonderful things that are written in the Bible will be accomplished for us.
I will read these words again:
If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out
The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD , and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 NIV)
What a wonderful thing! Isn't it all relevant to our lives? May all the brothers and sisters among us experience what we are experiencing. May God bless us all.