The Gibeonites were strong warriors with economic acumen to build large cities (Joshua 9:17, 10:2). These strong warriors were also men of peace (Joshua 10:1, 4). They sought peace in the only way they thought they could achieve it – tricking the people of Israel and, in their minds, Israel’s God. When Joshua, the leaders, and the people of Israel realized that the Gibeonites had tricked them into signing a peace treaty, the people were annoyed (Joshua 9:18). But the leaders stood firm in their commitment to the treaty – their promise mattered (Joshua 9:19).
Now, in Joshua 10, we see that the Gibeonites’ desire to seek peace stirred up a war (Joshua 10:3–5). Apostle Peter wrote, “it is better to suffer, if it is God’s will, for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17). The Gibeonites were getting ready to pay the price for seeking peace. Their only allies were God’s people – people they had tricked. But though the Gibeonites had deceived the Israelites, the Israelite leaders showed integrity in keeping their promise. Israel’s leaders’ faithfulness gave the Gibeonites the trust and confidence to immediately call them for help.
Likewise, in our lives, whether it is at home, work, or in politics, our integrity – our commitment to our promise to care for our children, spouses, coworkers, or people we are leading – will give them the confidence to trust us. On the other hand, if we, like king Adoni-Zedek (Joshua 10:1), do not live up to our essential human commitment to care for our children, spouse, and those alongside us, we will live with broken relationships and disillusion.