Ellen G. White Writings

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Conflict and Courage, Page 122

The Price of a Lie, April 26

Joshua 9; Joshua 10

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. Proverbs 12:22.

From Shechem the Israelites returned to their encampment at Gilgal. Here they were soon after visited by a strange deputation, who desired to enter into treaty with them. The ambassadors represented that they had come from a distant country, and this seemed to be confirmed by their appearance. Their clothing was old and worn, their sandals were patched, their provisions moldy, and the skins that served them for wine bottles were rent and bound up, as if hastily repaired on the journey....

These representations prevailed.... “And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.” Thus the treaty was entered into....

But it would have fared better with the Gibeonites had they dealt honestly with Israel. While their submission to Jehovah secured the preservation of their lives, their deception brought them only disgrace and servitude. God had made provision that all who would renounce heathenism, and connect themselves with Israel, should share the blessings of the covenant. They were included under the term, “the stranger that sojourneth among you,” and with few exceptions this class were to enjoy equal favors and privileges with Israel. The Lord's direction was—“If a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him. But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself” (Leviticus 19:33, 34)....

Such was the footing on which the Gibeonites might have been received, but for the deception to which they had resorted. It was no light humiliation to those citizens of a “royal city,” “all the men whereof were mighty,” to be made hewers of wood and drawers of water throughout their generations. But they had adopted the garb of poverty for the purpose of deception, and it was fastened upon them as a badge of perpetual servitude. Thus through all their generations their servile condition would testify to God's hatred of falsehood.40Patriarchs and Prophets, 505-507.

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