One of the most intricate and complex things among humanity is relationship. Daily we are involving in activities of relationship without really taking its intricacies into consideration. Family relationship that began with husband and wife, which later extends to their children have its foundation from the word of God and it is established in the wisdom of God through creation. Some relationships are established by pure attraction of similar interest or ideology when two people discovered themselves in the ocean of life and from there became close friends. Some relationships are established by the necessity of needed skills in a corporate setting that lead to creation of employer and employee relationship. Some are into legal contractual relationship specially created between parties for economic purposes and for the benefit of the parties involved. When two or more come together in a contractual relationship, they may legalize the agreement and called it contract. If the agreement is between two or more nations, we called it a treaty. Finally, if there exist an agreement between the Heavenly God and man as we learn in the scripture, we termed it a covenant.
And Joshua made peace with them [Gebionites], and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them. (Joshua 9:15) “Now their cities were Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjathjearim. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them.” (Joshua 9:17-19)
The background detailed account of the passage above was that the Gebionites deceptively made a peace treaty with Israelites. Unaware of their deception, the princes of Israelites sworn an oath in the name of God to the Gebionites to maintain the peace treaty. Later Israelites knew the truth, but it was too late for them to rescind the oath for they had sworn oath in the name of God to create a relationship. The Israelites have a good reason to resent and rescind the relationship, but the princes of the congregation of Israel, under the leadership of Joshua, insisted with their righteous heart of integrity, honored God’s name, and treasure the relationship created in the name of God, they chose not to set aside the peace treaty.
“Therefore the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, the king of Eglon, gathered themselves together, and went up, they and all their hosts, and encamped before Gibeon, and made war against it. And the men of Gibeon sent unto Joshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, Slack not thy hand from thy servants; come up to us quickly, and save us, and help us: for all the kings of the Amorites that dwell in the mountains are gathered together against us. (Joshua 10:5-6)
At the passage of time, five kingdoms of the Amorites in the region joined forces against the Gebionites to punish them for making peace treaty with Israelites their common enemy nation. The Gebionites now in danger of being destroyed by the enraging ganged up kingdoms, they decided to enforce their right under the peace agreement they had with Israel, they cried for help from Israelites their allied in the treaty. “So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.” (Joshua 10:7-8) Israel, treasuring their relationship with Gibeon, rose up to defend their allies. More importantly, Israel honored God by valuing the treaty made in His name. God strengthened and empowered the Israelites to utterly annihilate the five Amorites kingdoms. It was in the course of Israel’s defense of Gibeon that Joshua stopped the natural course of the sun and moon. “Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
Perhaps we are wondering why Israelites came to the rescue of the Gebionites, it was because they were following God’s example by keeping their peace treaty with Gibeon. God Almighty, to this day, treasures His covenant relationship with Abraham and by extension those who are Abraham’s children through faith in Jesus Christ. At the beginning of the ministry of Joshua, God assured him, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Joshua 1:5) That was why God delivered the kingdoms of Amorites into the hands of Israelites in victory. We all know that humanity does not control the heavenly bodies but because of the treasured relationship between God and the nation of Israel that was why the uncommon miracle manifested. That was why God did not put Joshua into shame when he asked for God’s divine intervention. At the words of Joshua sun stood still on the mount of Gibeon and moon in the valley of Ajalon until he defeated the enemies.
The following acronyms “R-E-L-A-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P” are the characteristics of the people that treasures relationships
R—Responsive abilities that strengthens the union
E—Engaging with total commitment to the union
L—Loyalty to the common goals of the union
A—Active truthful communication within the union
T—Trust that enhance faithfulness in union
I —Identifying with each other within the union
O—Oneness in godly purposeful goal of the union
N—No admission of unholy activities in the union
S —Sensitivity to the need of others within the union
H—Honesty in operations between parties in the union
I —Interacting with sincere love within the union
P—Practical defense and protection of the union
Do you know that there is an unwritten relationship between God and man? God is the Creator of the whole universe. He created man in His own image. He is the unseen thoughtful and faithful Father of every unit of families all over the world. “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12:30-31) The scripture tells us that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) Do you recognize the existence of this precious relationship and treasure it? This relationship ushered us unto His righteous side through salvation and through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary.
Consider all the relationships you have in your life. You may not enjoy all of them and may even wish that you could withdraw from some of them. But do you value and honor your relationship with God enough to be faithful and honorable in the relationships you regret? Your marital relationship was established in the wisdom of God. Husbands and wives are people still in need of God’s grace. If they both value their relationship with God, then they will treasure and enjoy their relationship with each other. And as God strengthened Israel to overcome five Amorite kings, He will stop the sun and moon to ensure victory over whatever assails your marriage. Therefore, out of honor for God, the scripture admonished, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” (Ephesians 5:22,25) Children are the blessing of the marital relationship. Are you treasuring your relationship with your siblings and your parents according to the characteristics laid out above? Do you value your relationship with God enough to put aside your differences and obey your parents or love your siblings? Or when at work, does your behavior towards your employees and employers reflect that you honor relationship with God? No matter what harm your country has done to you, do you trust God enough to continue to treasure your relationship with your fellow citizens according to the criteria above? A true patriot loves and honors his country because he loves and honors his relationship with God.
Recently during the pandemic of 2020, the battery of my car ran down. I casually informed my Christian brother who is auto mechanic. Few days later he called me that he was in the front of my house. Amazingly when I came out to see him, I discovered that he came with a brand-new battery which he immediately installed without asking for money. He undertook this risky labor of love because he treasured the brotherly relationship between us. “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” (1 Peter 2:7) How much do you treasure the relationship between you and your Christian brethren? It is not by accident you came across each other in the ocean of Christ’s love. God is honored when we responsibly treasure the relationships He has placed in our lives. In all walks of life, we have responsibilities to live up to the intended purposes of the wisdom of God towards each other in our relationships to touch each other’s life and leave behind the footprint of treasured relationship for the glory of God.
Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to treasure and appreciate the loving and healthy relationship you have given me the grace to be a part of on earth. Make me to be faithfully committed in righteousness and in holiness for your glory in the relationship. Inspire my heart in your gracious wisdom to humbly honor you in my various activities in the relationship, in Jesus name, Amen.