Thursday, March 08, 2018

Failure to consult with God

Joshua and the Gibeonites - from

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Joshua 9-12; Psalm 67

TO CHEW ON: “Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask the counsel of the LORD.” Joshua 9:14

The Hivites, people who lived in the Canaanite city of Gibeon about six miles northwest of Jerusalem, were terrified of Israel—scared not witless but witty. They organized a trip to Joshua and the marauding Israeltes that involved worn out wine skins, tattered clothes, and moldy bread. Their story: the wine skins had been new when they began their journey, the bread hot out of the oven, the new clothes completely worn out on the long long trip from their home to where Israel was camped. They came to request a peace treaty with Israel.

(Perhaps they knew of the stipulation God had given Moses. Israel was to utterly destroy all the Canaanites but was allowed to make peace with distant peoples - Deuteronomy 7:2; 20:10-16.)

Joshua and other leaders looked at the worn out skins and the tattered clothes. They tasted the moldly bread. It all convinced them of the truth of the Hivites’ tale and so they made a covenant of peace with them (Joshua 9:15).

But one thing they neglected to do: “… they did not ask the counsel of the LORD.” Big oops!

I feel convicted by this story as I think of how often I make decisions on my own, without asking for the “counsel of the Lord”—convinced by how things look or what seems obvious. Like the Israelites I know so little, am naïve, easily duped, and unaware of what is transpiring in the unseen spiritual realm. Do you ever do the same?

Joshua and the his fellow leaders then experienced the consequences of their rash decision. Their own people were upset with them but now there was no way out but to let these people live (Joshua 9:18,19). And there was more bloodshed later. When King Saul violated the covenant, killed the Gibeonites, and God sent a famine to punish this broken promise. In order to break the famine, more lives—Israelite lives—were required (2 Samuel 21:1,6).

Similarly, we should not be surprised when our impetuous, self-inspired moves result in consequences to us and those around us.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me to pause and pray, to really consult You and await Your answer, when I face decisions. Amen.


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! This year we are using The Bible Project "Timeless Reading Plan" to read through the Bible in 2018. If you'd like to read along in your own Bible, you can download a pdf of the reading plan HERE.

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