Part Two: OH WHAT NEEDLESS PAIN WE BEAR (16-27)
Today allow me to jump a few lines ahead, we will return to these in the next sermon.
Ungodly alliances have the potential of bringing us down in our spiritual lives. The problem is that some are lifelong alliances which we cannot disentangle ourselves from. We may regret and cry our lives out but we cannot get ourselves out of these mistakes. These mistakes become needless pains we have to bear all the rest of our lives. I want to compare Israel’s alliance with the Gibeonites as an example.
- Reality Dawns
Israel signed a treaty of peace and non-aggression against the people of Gibeon, in utter disregard for the warning that God had given them. After only three days of marching forward, they discovered that they have been duped. The people complained bitterly against Joshua and his leadership of the alliance. There was such uproar that Joshua had to address the matter himself.
I imagine that the worst feelings about an ungodly unhealthy alliance come when you discover that you are trapped. Here the Israelites were ready to battle the Amorites, only to discover that they had made a treaty which they could not break!
Our greatest regret comes when we discover that we do not share values with the other party that you entered an agreement with. When you look at the ugly reality of an ungodly alliance of which you are now part. The pain of betrayal becomes real and the reality of your foolishness becomes obvious.
2. An Eyesore
When David sinned before God by deception, murder and adultery, he came before God and exclaimed, “For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.”
The Israelite’s misguided alliance with the Gibeonites would become an eyesore to anyone who looked into their land. They’re stuck in the middle of their inheritance would be a people who deceived them into an alliance. They will have to live with them as neighbours or brothers even though with a bitter taste in their mouths. Joshua sums up this feeling by placing a curse upon the Gibeonites; they will be slaves. They will be drawers of water and cutters of wood for the Israelite congregation.
What a pain to wake up every morning with the person you married by mistake? What a pain to drag your feet to that job that you know very well leads you further from fellowship with God? What a pain to sit in that business meeting with a partner who despises your faith? What a pain to know that you brought all these on yourself? What needless pain do we bear?
3. A Snare
In 2 Samuel 21:1-14, we read that there was a famine in the land and King David inquired of the Lord. He was told that the problem lay in Gibeah. Saul’s son had killed some Gibeonites violating the treaty of Joshua as a result God sent punishment to the Israelites. The only way out of this snare was to hang seven sons of Saul’s lineage to avenge the violation of the treaty.
The consequences of Joshua’s mistake reach far into the future to become a snare to his descendants much later.
Ungodly alliances will always become a snare for us. They will come back to haunt us. We may lie to ourselves that all is well at the moment, but years later things change and the reality of the snare we got ourselves into becomes a reality.