So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. – Joshua 9:14-15
Fearing the might of Israel’s army after hearing how they had conquered Jericho and Ai and others in the wilderness with the help of God, the Gibeonites formed a plan to deceive the leaders of Israel and spare their own lives. They dressed in old, worn out clothes, took stale bread, and went to Joshua, claiming to be from a faraway land. Though the leaders of Israel questioned the Gibeonites, they ultimately took the word of the travelers and made a covenant of peace with the Gibeonite people.
Their plan worked, but the covenant went against what God had instructed Joshua about taking the land. Joshua 9:14-15 describes where the leaders of Israel failed: They didn’t ask counsel from God.
This reminds us that we cannot rely on our own wisdom. We must seek counsel from God. How do we do this?
First, we look to what God has said in Scripture. The Bible is God’s voice spoken to us. It reveals his plan and his will. What the Bible teaches us is profitable for our growth in righteousness through instruction, rebuke, and correction (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If God has commanded us to do something in his word, then we do it. If he has commanded us not to do it, then we’re to avoid it. But for other things in life where we don’t have explicit commands, we:
Second, pray. James 1 speaks about having wisdom and lacking wisdom. If we lack wisdom and need it, we are to ask God. His granting of wisdom may come in a variety of ways, but we should ask and asking we should believe that God desires us to be wise. Third, we seek the wisdom of godly men and women whom we trust. Proverbs 12:15 says that a wise person will listen to advice. Other people have life experiences that we often don’t. What they have learned along the way as they seek to follow Jesus can be invaluable in helping us honor God.
So, let us not be like the Israelites when faced with the Gibeonite deception. Let us seek God and seek to do his will in all things.
New posts in this devotional series will appear most Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.