Saturday, September 10, 2011

Covenant- Strangers But Accepted


In Joshua 9, the Gibeonites came to Joshua's camp as enemies of God. They were not God's people yet they were requesting covenant.  They recognized and had heard that THIS GOD, the God of the Israelites was a victorious God, a God that drove out enemies and a God that protected his people. Rather than fight this God, they wanted to join this God!

Joshua 9: 3- But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended, 5 old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6 And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” 

God will never turn anyone away that comes to him truly desiring to enter into covenant with him!

They came in as liars and deceivers to the Israelite camps.  The Israelites were blinded to who they were.  They came in wearing old shoes and carrying old wineskins and wearing old clothes.

Just as the Gibeonites came with the old, but were given new, and were accepted into the Israelite camp, in that same way we have been grafted into the covenant promises of the nation of Israel.
Ephesians 2:11Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Although coming to him as sinners, apart and separate from the covenants of God, we are accepted into covenant as we are!  We are made new!

It was later uncovered who they were just as we are continually sanctified and who we are is exposed.  God still protects us even as we are.  We are still in covenant even as we are.  It is in covenant relationship begins as we are grafted into the tree of Israel and given the same covenant rights!  It is then he begins to change us as we walk in a new relationship!

Joshua said, "Let them live!"   In that same way, Jesus says to us, "Let them live as we are given new life with new and better promises than the life that was the source of our old wineskins and our old clothing. 

  • They were destined for death but this covenant gave them life!
  • They came in with old wineskins from their past but were given a new life within covenant!
  • They chose to be reconciled to the God of Israel than live a life of defeat!  Wow!
2 Corinthians 5:17-17  17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

They were cast into the mercies of God, throwing themselves upon his mercy rather than remaining enemies. 

Josh 9:25 And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. 26- And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not.

Although they came in as deceivers and liars, they were accepted as servants in the house of God!

Josh 9:22 And Joshua called for them, and he spake unto them, saying, Wherefore have ye beguiled us, saying, We [are] very far from you; when ye dwell among us?  23-  Now therefore ye [are] cursed, and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God.  24- And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants, how that the LORD thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you, therefore we were sore afraid of our lives because of you, and have done this thing. 25- And now, behold, we are in thine hand: as it seemeth good and right unto thee to do unto us, do. 26- And so did he unto them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. 27- And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the LORD, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose.

Even though they were servants it's better to be a servant of God than an enemy of God!

Psalm 84:10
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness

  • Even in light of all of this we can see that these people were given covenant.

    • Even in light of all of this we can see that these people were given covenant.
    • Even today the nation of Israel is dealing with people that remained in the promised land during those years.
    • Many have their roots in these very people that were given covenant.
    • Israel is not to treat them unkind but is to be good to them and protect them- and that's what we see in Israel even today.
    • God will still honor his word so long as they don't come against Israel- in fact any nation coming into covenant to protect Israel will be afforded the same protection as they are.
    • In the same way, God now protects us as the apple of his eye!  We have eternal life and he has assigned angels to watch over us! We have absolutely nothing to fear!


    Historically Israel was blinded to the fact that God reached out to the gentiles and gentiles were grafted into the tree of Israel.

    • The gentiles that have accepted Christ have been afforded a new covenant, better than the old we came to him with.
    • We have the same protection as Israel.  We have the same God!
    • It didn't matter how they came- it mattered what they be-came! 


    We still must remember this is an old testament story that just gives a shadow of what was to come.  They became servants but we have become friends.  Thank God that he accepted us as we were even though we were unworthy and made us friends!  Amen!

    John 15:15
    Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

    • Today I'm thankful that God accepted me with all of the deception of my past.
    • I'm thankful to be his servant and even more thankful to be made friend.
    • I'm thankful for his continual work of sanctification that exposes who I am but changes me to be more like him.
    • I'm thankful for his eternal protection and destiny in my life.

1 comment:

  1. Very, very good articles on Covenant. I highly recommend that folks read this and other post of yours. I have been blessed and am following what you right.

    Be greatly blessed and keep serving our King!