Then Joshua summoned the Gibeonites and said, “Why did you deceive us by saying, ‘We live a long way from you,’ while actually you live near us? You are now under a curse: You will never be released from service as woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.” They answered Joshua, “Your servants were clearly told how the LORD your God had commanded his servant Moses to give you the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before you. So we feared for our lives because of you, and that is why we did this. We are now in your hands. Do to us whatever seems good and right to you.” So Joshua saved them from the Israelites, and they did not kill them. That day he made the Gibeonites woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the LORD at the place the LORD would choose. And that is what they are to this day. – Joshua 9:22-27
Adolph Harstad writes:
The Gibeonites accept the terms of the curse and do not plead for a lesser or different penalty. In response to Joshua’s question (9:22), they freely confess the reason for their trickery. “We feared greatly for our lives/souls before you, and so we did this thing.” Their fear was based on a knowledge of and belief in the word of God: “It was most clearly told to your slaves that the LORD your God commanded Moses His servant to give you all the land and to exterminate all the inhabitants of the land from before you.” They were familiar with God’s commands in the Torah and believed that God would in fact bring to pass what His word stipulates. After their explanation they place themselves into Joshua’s hands with no fight and no protest. They throw themselves on the mercy of God’s leader and plead only that Joshua do to them what is “good” and “upright.”
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 51
Q. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.