But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they 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 9:3–7

The Israelites are back in Gilgal – the place where they renewed their covenant with God after crossing the Jordan. And now they have another nation coming to them to covenant. Although this nation uses deception to get it, the Gibeonites recognize that to be with the Israelites would be much better than to be against them.

How do we interact with those outside or new to our community?

No matter how others come to us at South Fellowship Church, we can either push them away or draw them in. Just as we have been welcomed by God and chosen to be in covenant with him, we can offer the same for others – whether or not they know their need.

Consider these questions:

1. Is your heart ready to welcome others in? If not, what could you do to ready your heart to receive a new relationship?
2. Who might God be laying on your heart to pray for their salvation? How could you show that person God’s welcoming love today?

By Yvonne Biel

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