So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack. They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon.
The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. “Don’t abandon your servants now!” they pleaded. “Come at once! Save us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings who live in the hill country have joined forces to attack us.”
So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon. “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.”
Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.
On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, “Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.”
The Amorite kings resented the Gibeonites for making a peace treaty with Israel; the kings saw this as betrayal, so they attacked Gibeon.
After having been deceived by the Gibeonites, Joshua and the leaders could have been slow about their attempt to rescue them. Instead, they immediately responded to their call for help.
This alliance of enemy kings from the south actually helped Joshua and his army. Because the enemies had united to attack Gibeon, Joshua spent less time and energy battling against each fortified city represented in the coalition. Joshua confidently confronted this coalition of armies and weakened them in a single battle because he trusted God to give Israel the victory. Afterwards, Israel could easily defeat each of the cities in the coalition.
Coming to Gibeon’s rescue shows Joshua’s integrity. How willing would you be to help someone who had deceived you, even though you had forgiven him or her? We should honor our word just as decisively as Joshua did.
What sacrifices are you willing to make to keep your word? Have you made agreements with others that were made without your knowing the full story? What does it mean to remain faithful in situations like these? If you have made a promise, remember Joshua. Consider whether maybe you should keep it, even though it may be difficult or come at a cost.