Scripture Reading: Joshua 9:1-27
“So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them.” (Joshua 9:14,15)
The leaders of God’s people were deceived by a group of people who lived in the land called the Gibeonites. The people of Gibeon heard about God’s promise to Moses —“Because it was told to your servants for a certainty that the Lord your God had commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land before you — so we feared greatly for our lives because of you and did this thing” (v. 24).
The people of Gibeon pretended to be a sojourners from a far country (vs. 3-6). They deceived Joshua and the leaders of the Israelites by persuading them to enter into a covenant of peace — “And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them” (v. 15).
Later when Joshua found out that the Gibeonites were actually inhabitants of the Promised Land, he confronted them (vs. 22,23). But it was too late; the leaders of Israel had already made a covenant with the Gibeonites. Joshua ended up making them slaves — “But Joshua made them that day cutters of wood and drawers of water for the congregation and for the altar of the Lord, to this day, in the place that he should choose” (v. 27).
The people of God were deceived by the Gibeonites. The key to the passage is found in verse 14, “So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord.” One commentator of this passage wrote, “neglect of prayer leads to trouble and destroys the spirit of discernment…Neglect of prayer suggests pride in our own judgment.”
The Scripture clearly teaches us not to depend on our own understanding — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5,6). How much trouble do we bring on ourselves when we do not seek the counsel of the Lord? I know that I am too quick to act sometimes. I act before I pray. I’ve made many bad decisions because I did this.
Lord God, forgive me for my lack of prayer. Forgive me when I lean on my own understanding instead of seeking counsel from You. I acknowledge my need for you and earnestly desire to trust You fully. Lord Jesus, thank You for interceding for me even when I fail to do so myself.
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