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His Mercy is More: God’s Surprising Kindness to Liars and Self Reliars (Joshua 9)

joshua07

Lies and liars. Our world is filled with them, and we often struggle to know what to do with them. This is true when are deceived, but it is also true when we are the deceiver.

On Sunday we saw another deception story in Joshua. And to play on words—Joshua 9 teaches us again that (first) looks can be deceiving. For instead of seeing how the lies of Gibeon are met with swift punishment, we find that God’s mercy overshadows their wrongdoing. At the same time, we also learn how Israel’s self-reliance is covered by the wise mercy of Joshua. Thus, in this chapter we find great hope for liars and self-reliars, which is to say we find hope for all of us!

To see how Joshua 9 leads us to appreciate more of God’s mercy and to become more merciful, you can listen to the sermon online. You can also find response questions and further resources below.

Soli Deo Gloria, ds

Response Questions

  1. What aspects of this story surprise you?
  2. What do the Gibeonites deserve, and what do they receive?
  3. What is the mistake of Israel? How does the congregation respond?
  4. What differences do you see as to the weight of covenant keeping/breaking then versus today?
  5. What do the Gibeonites understand about YHWH (9:9-11, 24-26)? How is this similar to Rahab (2:9-13)?
  6. How does the identity of the Gibeonites change? (9:21, 23, 27)
  7. What truths and attributes of God do you observe in this narrative?
  8. What should it look like for us to apply this story today?

Additional Resources