Week 4, Day 4

READ: Joshua 8-9

BACKGROUND: By verse
8:1 – This is right after Achan’s sin had caused Israel to be defeated by Ai. God tells Joshua that this is no reason to fear, though.
2 – God sets up different rules. Now the warriors can take the spoils of war.
30-35 – Here Israel takes time to remember and renew their covenant with God. That he would be their God and they would be his servant people.
9:4 – Motivated by fear, they result to trickery
15 – This was expressly against God’s orders to destroy the people of Canaan and not make covenants with them.
21 – “Woodcutters & water carriers” is a traditional term for household servants.

THINK: According to lie-detection experts, “Our natural tendency is to trust people.” However, not everyone is trustworthy all the time. Signs that someone may be lying include fidgeting, lack of eye contact, and noticeable pauses in speaking. Even with these clues, experts warn that it is still quite tough to tell deceivers from honest people.

Joshua needed to know if he could trust the Gibeonites. When they discovered that God wanted him to get rid of some neighboring nations (Josh. 9:24), they pretended to be from a faraway land. They arrived in worn-out tunics and patched sandals, claiming, “Our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey” (v.13). The Israelites were suspicious (v.7), but they “did not ask counsel of the Lord” (v.14); and Joshua unwisely made a peace treaty with the deceivers.

Many want to gain our trust: salespeople, financial advisors, or estranged family members. If we wonder: “Can I trust you?” we shouldn’t decide quickly, based only on what seems right to us. It’s better to seek counsel from God’s Word (Ps. 119:105), godly people (Prov. 11:14), and God Himself (James 1:5). Wisdom from above will help us decide who to trust.

Written by Jennifer Benson Schuldt in Our Daily Bread on March 1, 2012

Protect us from deceivers, Lord,
Who lie and plot to take
Advantage of us and confuse
Decisions we must make. —Sper

ASK: Have I ever been burned by someone I thought I could trust? What would it look like for me to always seek God’s counsel in situations where trusting others is at stake?

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