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Joshua and the Gibeonites (Longest Day):


Message:


Joshua 9-10

We used flannelgraph to tell the story of the Gibeonites.  Joshua 9:3-6 tells us that when the Gibeonites who lived in the Promised Land of Canann heard that the Israelites defeated Jericho and Ai, they decided to trick the Israelites into thinking they were from far away.  God promised Abraham He would give his descendents all of this land, and the Gibeonites knew it was only a matter of time before the Israelites focused on them.  So they decided to trick them but telling them they were from a far away country.  They  took worn-out sacks, wore old shoes (might be helpful to have an old shoe and a new shoe so the kids can see the difference), and had old dried out bread (I toasted a piece of bread and passed around a fresh piece of bread and a toasted piece).

You can read Joshua 9:9-15

bread

Oh no! Joshua 9:14 says "the men of Israel...did not ask for the counsel of the Lord"  They made a covenant with the Gibeonites without seeking God first.  Whenever we make decisions, we must always seek God!

Now three days later, the Israelites realized they made a mistake.  The Gibeonites lived in the land that God had given them.  So did the Israelites back out of their word and attack the Gibeonites because they were tricked?  No, they honored their word cause they feared God would punish them if they disobeyed.  Remember what happened to the Israelites when someone stole gold from Jericho?  How they lost that Battle.  They were winning battles because God was blessing them, not because of their strength.

The Israelites were mad at their leaders for not seeking God (9:18).  We should always pray for our President, and pastors, and parents that they would seek God or we all suffer.  So the Gibeonites were allowed to stay in the land, but had to serve the Israelites.

Now (Joshua 10) five kinds in the area heard what the Gibeonites did.  They were made at the Gibeonites for making a covenant with the Israelites.  So the five armies attacked the Gibeonites.  (10:6) The Gibeonites told Joshua "Come quickly and help us, save us!".  So what do you think Joshua did?  Did he say, "You tricked us, save yourself?"  or was he a man of his word and did he go and help the Gibeonites?  That's right, he helped the Gibeonites.  

Now an amazing miracle happened when the Israelites were attacking the five kings.  It says in the bible that (10:11) large stones fell from heaven and more people were killed from these hailstones than from the Israelite army.  Then an even more amazing thing happened.  Joshua's army needed more time to defeat these armies, so he prayed that the sun would stand still in the sky. (10:12-14).  So the sun stood still and the moon stopped for about a whole day!  God answered Joshua's prayer and the whole earth stopped moving for a whole day.

This is a really crazy story, but we know it is true.  There are stories around the world of  a longest night, and a longest sunset, and a longest day. (click here and see pages 9-10)

So God did a miracle and answered Joshua's prayer.  There are many times in our lives that there is something we don't want to do, but we do it cause it is the right thing to do.  Have you ever met someone that you didn't really like, but you were nice to him cause that is the right thing to do?  So if Joshua didn't save the Gibeonites, he would've broken his covenant/promise (lied), and he would've missed out on two AMAZING miracles!

This is what it is important to always seek God, keep your promises, and obey him, no matter what.



Verse:

"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" - 2 Corinthians 9:7