Wednesday, October 18 – Joshua 9:16-18
However, it came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were neighbors and that they were living within their land. Then the sons of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. But the sons of Israel did not attack them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.
A loophole in a contract is a part of the document that can be used to get out of the agreement without penalty. After the Israelites were deceived, it would have been easy to look for a loophole in the covenant they had made. Surely, they didn’t need to keep being kind to these people if they weren’t who they claimed to be. Surely, that deceit would nullify the commitment they made to them. Yet that was not the response of the leaders of Israel. The leaders of Israel saw the importance of keeping their word and their commitment. Being a person of integrity is a valuable trait in our culture; we admire those who are “people of their word.” We know we can trust them to keep their commitment even when it is difficult. When the Israelites came to their realization, it could have been a moment of repaying sin with sin. The emotions were high, and the people were angry. Yet the leaders restrained and trusted God’s justice in this matter.
We often look for a loophole to the commitments we have made to God and others. We feel justified in getting angry at our kids when they are angry at us. We push our spouse away if we feel them pushing us away. But God keeps His promises. He is faithful even when we are unfaithful to Him. In Him, we can press on in our commitments, even to the undeserving, because we can trust His sovereignty and providence in all things.
- When have you had to keep your word through a difficult circumstance?
- When are you tempted to look for a “loophole” to break a commitment you’ve made before God?
- Pray and ask God to help you love even those who are undeserving and to keep your commitments to Him.