From my 2013 Journal. I’ve always pictured Joshua, son of Nun, as a flawless character. But the Bible records one mistake that he made—a treaty with the Gibeonites (Joshua 9). Not an evil thing, not a disobedient decision, but a neglectful act: he forgot to consult with God.
This is a scary thought to me. I don’t (usually) blatantly sin, disobey, or rebel against God. But how often have I been neglectful, and—horrors—deceived. It happens to all of us. Joshua was one of the best—a man of faith, courage, and integrity. If he could be deceived, who am I to claim it will never happen to me?
Once Joshua realized his mistake, however, he rectified it.
- He confronted the deceivers.
- He kept his oath.
- He found a creative way to redeem his error.
- He learned from his mistake. He listened to God the next time!
God responded, “Don’t be afraid,” and then He gave the Israelites great victory over their enemies. God listened to Joshua’s prayer to make the sun stand still—a once-in-history experience.
There never has been a day like it before or since when the Lord listened to a man (Joshua 10:14).
Joshua’s story gives me hope. My mistakes do not have to define me or bind me.