Redeeming the Gibeonites in Me – I relate to the Gibeonites in I do not want to live a destroyed and devoured life like others around me. We come to the Lord and when we come we bring all our deceitful ways with us. None of us came to the Lord all clean and pure and for this fact none of us are all clean and pure now. How many are happy the Lord made covenant with us even though we were carrying around some cracked wine skins, moldy bread, and worn out sandals of deceit? Aren’t you glad God wants to REDEEM THE GIBEONITE IN US?
The Book of JOSHUA – POSSESSING THE KINGDOM
By Pastor Delbert Young
Redeeming the Gibeonites in Me
Redeeming the Gibeonites in Me
Scriptures: Matthew 11:12, Luke 16:16, Deuteronomy 20:16, Deuteronomy 20:17, Joshua 9:3, Joshua 9:4, Joshua 9:5, Joshua 9:6, Joshua 9:15, Deuteronomy 7:2, Joshua 8:35, Joshua 9:24, Joshua 9:26, Joshua 9:27, Joshua 11:18, Joshua 11:19, Joshua 11:20, 1 Chronicles 21:29, Luke 17:21, Joshua 9:27, Hebrews 12:29, Matthew 3:11, John 7:38, John 7:39, Ephesians 5:26, Ephesians 2:8, Ephesians 2:9, Ephesians 2:10, Joshua 9:27
We are in our series on POSSESSING THE KINGDOM. We are learning there really is a kingdom to possess now. Jesus said to the crowds,
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Jesus also said,
Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
The kingdom of God is not a futuristic event. It is a kingdom we can enter now.
We are using the book of Joshua as a guide to help us understand what Jesus meant by forcing our way into and POSSESSING THE KINGDOM. The next principle we will look at is a principle concerning survival and entering the kingdom.
We find an interesting story in Joshua chapter 9. I need to familiarize us with the story. Joshua had been leading the children of God to victory as they forced their way into the kingdom. They were doing exactly what the Lord had instructed them to do.
Deuteronomy 20:16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
Deuteronomy 20:17 Completely destroy them – the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites – as the LORD your God has commanded you.
This is exactly what Joshua and the children of Israel had done to Jericho and to Ai. The word had spread throughout the land about the awesome power of God and his people. After Ai was completely destroyed, the Canaanite nations decided to form a coalition to fight against the people of God except for one nation.
Joshua 9:3 However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
Joshua 9:4 they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.
Joshua 9:5 The men put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes. All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy.
Joshua 9:6 Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”
The people of Gibeon projected themselves as something they were not. Joshua and the elders took the bait and bought into the ruse.
Joshua 9:15 Then Joshua went ahead and signed a peace treaty with them, and the leaders of Israel ratified their agreement with a binding oath.
Joshua made a covenant or treaty with the Gibeonites. There seems to be a problem with this because Joshua had been given specific instructions not to make a covenant or treaty with any of them or show them any mercy.
Deuteronomy 7:2 And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Was Joshua ignorant of this command? Well, no! He had just written all the Law of Moses on the stones of the altar built on Mount Ebal (Josh 8:30-32) and then Joshua read aloud every word Moses had written to all the people.
Joshua 8:35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
However, for some reason, Joshua spared the Gibionites. Three days later, he learned they had been deceitful to him. Joshua called the people of Gibeon and asked them why they had done what they did.
Joshua 9:24 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.
The statement of faith by the Gibeonites was very similar to what Rahab had said. The answer was obvious. They feared being destroyed as was Jericho and Ai. So, Joshua made them servants to the tabernacle – the house of God and to the people.
(NIV) Joshua 9:26 So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them.
Joshua 9:27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the COMMUNITYand for the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day. [KJV – congregation; NLT – the people]
Notice they were saved to minister to the COMMUNITY and to the house of the Lord. Instead of being destroyed, they became a necessary part of the plan and purpose of God to minister to their community.
As I began studying this lesson and reviewing my study resources, everyone talked about the “deception” of the Gibeonites. I couldn’t settle there. Something simply did not seem right with this interpretation to me. Sure they had been deceptive, but this deception brought them salvation. Also, I was dealing with the fact Joshua had just read the Law of Moses and was fully aware he was to destroy them, but did not. Joshua was a stickler to obey God and God had dealt with the Achan situation severely. Joshua would not intentionally disobey the Lord. As so often happens with me, the Spirit of God began helping me and I heard and began to see something else. Yes the people of Gibeon were deceitful, but who isn’t or hasn’t ever been? Let’s look at this just a second.
I heard a joke about a man who fell in love with an opera singer while watching her from the third balcony through binoculars as she sung. He was convinced he could live “happily ever after” if married to a woman with a voice like her’s. He scarcely noticed she was considerably older than he. Nor did he care she walked with a limp. He was certain her voice could get them through anything. After a whirlwind romance and hurry–up ceremony, they were off for their honeymoon together. She began to prepare for their first night together. She smiled at him as she removed her hearing aid and then plucked out her glass eye and plopped it into a container on the nightstand. She pulled off her wig, yanked out her dentures, and removed her artificial leg. Stunned and horrified, he said, “For goodness sake, woman, sing, sing, SING!”
My point is we all can now or one day will relate to something about the opera singer. Maybe it’s false teeth or makeup or false hair or artificial something, but most of us are, or will one day project ourselves as something not exactly true. Is anything horribly wrong with this? I don’t think so. We simply want to look nice and feel better about ourselves.
It’s a small desire when compared to what the Gibeonites were facing. As I looked at and meditated about what the Gibeonites did, I just couldn’t see anything horribly wrong with it. They were literally seeking salvation for themselves. They were avoiding hell. In fact, I learned they were the only nation who did of all the nations of Canaan.
Joshua 11:18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.
Joshua 11:19 Except for the Hivites living in Gibeon, not one city made a treaty of peace with the Israelites, who took them all in battle.
Joshua 11:20 For it was the LORD himself who hardened their hearts to wage war against Israel, so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Isn’t it interesting the Lord did not harden the Hivites’ hearts who lived in Gibeon? Why was this? Why didn’t the Lord harden the Gibeonites as he did all the other nations? It was because God had a need and a plan for them. Gibeon would become the home of the tabernacle of Moses – the house of the Lord. The presence of the Lord would be found at Gibeon.
1 Chronicles 21:29 The tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon.
My point is God had a plan for Gibeon. It was to Gibeon many would come and find the Lord. It was to Gibeon Solomon came to worship and found the Lord. Remember the story? There the Lord appeared and spoke to Solomon telling Solomon to ask God for anything (2Ch 1:7). Solomon asked for wisdom. God gave wisdom to him, but also riches, abundance, and prosperity. Gibeon became a type of church in the Old Testament and the place to find God.
I want to make sure I am clear about what I am attempting to say. Deceit is wrong, especially when it scams or swindles others. Sure it is, but this is not what those at Gibeon did. What I see they did was exactly what many or most of us did or do. We fear the judgment of God and a burning hell for eternity, so we come and make a deal with Jesus. I relate to the Gibeonites in I don’t want to live a destroyed and devoured life like others around me live. So we come to the Lord and when we come we bring all our deceitful ways with us. None of us came to the Lord all clean and pure and for that fact none of us are all clean and pure now. How many are happy the Lord made covenant with us even though we were carrying around some cracked wine skins, moldy bread, and worn out sandals of deceit? (And I could take each of those and do a lesson on it for those who are already believers, but yet make deals with Jesus.) Aren’t you glad God wants to REDEEM THE GIBEONITE IN US?
Allow me to attempt to put this into a perspective I believe we can all see. We are learning what Jesus said about the kingdom of God being within us.
Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
If the kingdom is within, then what must first be possessed for the kingdom is also within. As we, under the leadership of Jesus begin marching through our promised land and possessing it (our spirit, soul, and body), we find all sorts of enemies of the kingdom – Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, etc. All of these will war against the kingdom and, as it were, the Lord will harden them to war because he wants you to destroy them. They are evil and wicked idol worshipers and must be utterly defeated. However, in all of us there are some things God does not want to destroy, but rather redeem. He wants to use those things to establish his church. They have kingdom value. God has a plan for them and there he wants to put his presence. He wants all the people including the Solomon’s to come and worship and hear the voice God and become abundant and gain wisdom. When we come to Jesus there are things in each of us having redemptive value and God wants to make covenant with them.
Joshua 9:27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the COMMUNITYand for the ALTAR OF THE LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.
The Gibeonites are the woodcutters and water carriers. They are the servants and Jesus said the greatest in the kingdom are servants of all. The wood is what fueled the fire. Fire is typed in the Bible as God and the Holy Spirit.
Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Matthew 3:11 …He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Water is typed also as the Spirit of God and the Word of God.
John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
John 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit…)
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Making this applicable for our lives, you and I are to be servants in the house of the Lord. We are to be carriers or the wood allowing the Holy Spirit to burn. We are the carriers of the water – the Word of God washing souls and lives.
There is an interesting story in the Bible (2Sa 21:1) about the Gibeonites. David was king and there had been a 3-year famine. David inquired of the Lord and found it was because Saul, David’s predecessor, had executed some Gibeonites. David was required to execute vengeance on Saul’s house. The Lord takes his covenant very seriously. Don’t mess with a person redeemed to do something in the kingdom.
What is the principle of the Gibeonites and POSSESSING THE KINGDOM? In each of us there is or was a lot of stuff. Some of the stuff is hard toward God and will war with him until it is totally destroyed. However, there are things in you God desperately desires to redeem. Those things will serve at the house of the Lord. Those things have kingdom value. Those things are the home of his presence. People will come there and find wisdom, peace, joy, and abundance – the kingdom.
The Gibeonites were saved because God had a purpose for them. Do we realize we are saved because God has a purpose for us? Most believers do not realize this. Yet this is what grace is really about.
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God –
Ephesians 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The reason we are “saved” is for the same reason the Gibeonites were saved – TO DO GOOD WORKS. We are to carry the wood fueling the Spirit. We are to carry the water to wash lives. So I ask you, HAS THE GIBEONITE BEEN REDEEMED IN YOU? What are you doing at the house of the Lord and the COMMUNITY? I want to close by reading this verse again.
Joshua 9:27 That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the COMMUNITY AND FOR THE ALTAR OF THE LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day.
How many want to reach this community? We are about to enter an intense time in which we will be able to reach our COMMUNITY in unique ways. Next month we will have the 3rd annual Community BBQ on our campus. There will be hundreds of people here. I need your help. I need you to carry some water and cut some wood. God needs your help and the kingdom needs your help. Also, on September 10, Karen Wheaton will be here with Chosen. I don’t know if this sanctuary will hold everyone. We need your help. We will begin workshops next Wednesday and one of the workshops will be the OUTREACH workshop. I need you to come and help. The Lord needs you to come and help. The kingdom needs you to come and help.
I want to encourage you today. There is a KINGDOM TO POSSESS now. In the kingdom is total happiness and joy. There are wonderful things – treasures – in each of us God wants to use to reach this area. He wants you to be a place where people can come and find wisdom, peace, joy, and abundance. When God REDEEMS THE GIBEONITE in us, in assures us not only we are safe and protected, but our children and generations to come are too. How many want to allow God to redeem those wonderful treasures in you?
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