It is an established fact that man continues to deceive others hoping to take advantage of them. The bible has a lot of stories of deceptions and promised made without being fulfilled as soon as the deceiver gets what he or she purposed to gain. The duality in nature also showed situations in which people engaged in truthful promise or covenant. The children of Israel had the two modes of both deceitful acts and unbeatable truthful promises and covenants that were fulfilled. Neither David nor Jonathan acted in deceit. David gained favor of God and Jonathan’s surviving son, Mephibosheth was found out by David and brought back to the palace. King David restored his father’s inheritance to him and made him to eat at the king’s table. Jephthar paid his vow with what was dearest to his hear but gained much needed victory for the ravaged children of Israel.
Let us quickly see the role the Gibeonites in the life of the Israelites as they continued to bask in the glory of God’s promise of settling them in the land of Canaan having gloriously entered the Promised Land. News had been spreading as Ai and heavily fortified city of Jericho fell. Consequent upon these unassailable victories, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites got ready to attack the returnees. The inhabitants of Gibeon craftily devised a plan that precluded them from the action of their neighbors. They surreptitiously planned strategy of deceit, by presenting themselves as make-belief foreigners and voluntarily pledged to be servants to the Israelites Joshua chapter 9: 1-27. Joshua and the elders gullibly took the lie ‘hook, line and sinker’ and spared them against God’s instruction. They never sought the face of God before deciding to make a covenant with the deceivers. The Gibeonites received the wages of their deceit in the way Joshua made them to be woodcutters and water carriers for both the congregation and for the altar of the Lord Joshua 9: 27. Without researching the veracity of the submission of the Gibeonites, Joshua made peace with them, and also made a covenant with them to make them live and rulers of the congregation swore to it. When the truth of these deceitful neighbors became manifest, the Israelites could not act against the covenant. They had breached the avowed instruction to wipe out those they met in the Promised Land as required by the God of Israel. In conclusion, Proverb 20: 17 says “Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, But afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravels”, so it was with the Gibeonites.