Joshua and the leaders of Israel are encountering God – human beings made in His image. They are also encountering the world – people who are consistently choosing evil over good. They will need the courage from God to know the difference.
And [the Gibeonites] went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, "We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us." But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, "Perhaps you live among us; then how can we make a covenant with you?" (Joshua 9:6-7 ESV)
The Gibeonites were lying to their face. They were neighbors. They lived right down the road, so to speak. They knew that the Israelites were going to destroy them, so they cooked up a plan to trick the Israelites into a treaty. The first part of the plan was to convince Israel that they lived far, far away.
They said to Joshua, "We are your servants." And Joshua said to them, "Who are you? And where do you come from?" They said to him, "From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth. So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country said to us, 'Take provisions in your hand for the journey and go to meet them and say to them, "We are your servants. Come now, make a covenant with us."' Here is our bread. It was still warm when we took it from our houses as our food for the journey on the day we set out to come to you, but now, behold, it is dry and crumbly. These wineskins were new when we filled them, and behold, they have burst. And these garments and sandals of ours are worn out from the very long journey." (Joshua 9:8-13 ESV)
Joshua and the Israelite leaders had a decision to make. They have encountered a God-world mix. Now they need to decide how to walk together with God. Where is God in all this?
How about you? Do you encounter God-world mixes in your “real life.” How do you decide where God is in all this? How do you make faith real?