Joshua 9:1-15

Talks for Growing Christians

The Deception of the Gibeonites

Joshua 9:1-15

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Lesson Number 15

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Deception is a trademark of the enemy.
  2. Deception is a trap of the enemy.

Practical Application

  1. Let's look before we leap.


  1. What was the overall strategy for conquering the land of Canaan?
  2. What did the first strategy have to do with the Gibeonites?
  3. What tactics did the Gibeonites use to trick Israel into making a peace treaty?
  4. Why didn't the Gibeonites mention the recent victories of Israel over Jericho and Ai?
  5. What made the Gibeonites think that this strategy would work?
  6. What was the biggest mistake Joshua and the children of Israel made concerning this deception of the Gibeonites?
  7. Review: the Book of Joshua is not only the inspired account of the military conquests of Canaan. What else is it?


  1. First to divide the country in two with a central campaign, then conquer the South and then the North with respective campaigns.
  2. Gibeon was only a few miles from Ai, and the Gibeonites realized that they were probably next in line to be conquered.
  3. They dressed in old garments and pretended to be from a far country.
  4. They wanted them to think they were from a far country and hadn't heard of recent events.
  5. They knew what God had told His people under the law. See Deuteronomy 20:10-11.
  6. They did not ask counsel of the Lord. See Joshua 9:14.
  7. A handbook for spiritual warfare. All the tactics of the enemy in the Book of Joshua illustrate for us the tactics that Satan uses to try to defeat us.


  1. Satan is a great deceiver. Notice how he comes to the Christian in 2 Corinthians 11:14. Just as the Gibeonites knew the law of God, so does Satan, and he will try to trick the believer into making mistakes and doing the wrong thing. Beware the deception of the enemy. Think of times Satan has deceived you. How could you have countered this deception?
  2. Deception is a trap of the enemy, and Satan is interested in more than just tripping us up and tempting us with sin. He wants to trap us into making covenants and decisions which will compromise our testimony long-term. Has Satan entrapped you so that you have become entangled with the world and therefore ineffective? If so, confess your entanglement and ask God to help you. Tell Him that you want to become the person He wants you to be, and the one He can use for His glory.


  1. Before you leap into making decisions and choices, check it out. Look vertically to the Lord, and horizontally to the situation. Israel failed in both ways with the Gibeonites (9:14 and 9:7). Look before you leap.

Key Verses

  • "But the inhabitants of Gibeon worked craftily, and pretended to be ambassadors...'We are your servants. We have heard of the fame of the Lord your God...make a covenant with us." (Joshua 9:3-13)
  • "The men of Israel did not ask counsel of the Lord. Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them." (Joshua 9:14-15)

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