每日诗歌: 藉我賜恩福 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb4di2o42UA)
Joshua 9 [Read]
Joshua 10 [Read]
Luke 3 [Read]
Due to Chinese tradition and personal expectation, I tended to play the role of a critical father when my children were growing up. I would set the rules and expected them to follow. If they somehow broke the rules, they would expect rebuke or punishment. In the hindsight, I wish I had known the Lord before they were born. Things might be different.
God seemed to be that critical father since Israelites crossed the Jordan River. They were expected to strictly follow his commandments as they conquered the Promised Land, for God wanted to prevent any possible contamination by the Canaanites. However, today’s reading sheds a somewhat different light.
Right after the renewal of covenant at Mount Ebal, Israelites were tricked by the people of Gibeon into a treaty which spared their lives (9:15). They were not supposed to spare any Canaanites, but they hastily entered the treaty without asking the Lord (9:14). Now they were in trouble. They could not break the oath they swore to the Gibeon before the Lord (9:20), but they would be violating the direct command of the Lord if they allowed the Gibeonites to live. Such is the result when we make haste decisions “without inquiring the Lord”.
But the episode of Gibeonites was not finished yet. The surrounding kings came to attack them for surrendering to the Israelites, and they came to Joshua for protection. The Israelites would now go into battles for them, and the Lord was on their side. The Lord stopped the sun for a whole day, so that the Israelites could destroy the enemies (10:13). Not only that, he continued to give the southern cities into the hands of Israelites, and all of those who attacked Gibeon were destroyed and their lands were conquered by Joshua and Israelites (10:42).
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). People of Gibeon were spared by the carelessness of God’s children, but God used that situation to accomplish his will. People of Gibeon continued to play key roles in the history of Israel (1 Sam 7:1-2, Neh 7:29, Jer 26:20). God’s wisdom indeed surpasses ours, and his mercy truly endures forever. Let the children of God rejoice, for our careless mistake could turn into blessings by God’s mighty hand.
Keep on reading,