“Since we have sworn an oath in the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel, we cannot touch them. This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath. Let them live.” So they made them woodcutters and water carriers for the entire community, as the Israelite leaders directed. Joshua called together the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you lie to us? Why did you say that you live in a distant land when you live right here among us? May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.” They replied, “We did it because we—your servants—were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses to give you this entire land and to destroy all the people living in it. So we feared greatly for our lives because of you. That is why we have done this. Now we are at your mercy—do to us whatever you think is right.” Joshua 9:19-25 NLT
Joshua confronted the deception and lie that the Gibeonites committed, “Why did you lie to us?” Sin must be exposed and dealt with. Sin must be confronted in order that there will be repentance and restoration. If this will not take place, sin will linger and will lead to more destruction. Though there will be restoration because of the confession and recognition of sin, the consequence of sin will not be removed. “May you be cursed! From now on you will always be servants who cut wood and carry water for the house of my God.” This has to be done so that we will not take lightly the presence of sin. It was because of sin that Christ died on the cross. It is sin that prevents people to experience salvation which means not experiencing eternal life. The Gibeonites realizing the sin that they have committed readily submitted to whatever consequence will be imposed upon them. The Gibeonites recognized the one true God and served Him faithfully. They turned from their idols and dedicated themselves to serving the God of Israel. Their salvation was undeserved yet God’s mercy prevailed. The Name of the Lord was their salvation. “Your servants—were clearly told that the Lord your God commanded his servant Moses...” It was only by God’s grace that they were saved. When sinners come to Christ recognizing their sin through repentance and acknowledge that salvation can only be obtained in the Name of the Lord, they will be delivered from judgment and they will experience the joy of serving Him. Those who were former enemies of God have now been restored serving in His kingdom. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). How great is the grace of our wonderful God!