14 So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the Lord. 15 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.
In Joshua 9, we see a really interesting development in the taking of the land of Israel by God’s people. The people of Gibeon, a group of people that God had commanded Israel drive out of the land, trick the nation. They convince the leaders of the nation that they have come to them from far off in order to make peace. And the leadership buys it. The leaders examine the evidence in front of their eyes—the clothing and supplies of the Gibeonites—but they do not enquire of the Lord to find out what God thinks of the matter.
Later, we find out that the vow that the people of Israel made to the Gibeonites was a mistake. They had been tricked. But, even though the vow was rash and foolish, it was a vow that had truly been made. God held the Israelites to it, and even judged the people years later after King Saul had broken that vow.
By means of application, the call here I think is for us to see that finding out what God thinks of a matter is far more important than our best reasoning. There will be times in our lives in which things will appear to be right based on our best assessment of the evidence. However, our reasoning is not always the same as God’s plan. We need to look to God to find out about his opinion of choices that we would make.
Now, in Joshua’s day, the enquiring of the Lord was something that was a very direct thing. Joshua, like Moses, has a pretty direct line of voice to voice communication with the Lord. Today, I believe that God has given us a different means of communicating with him, namely his word. Yes, the Lord will guide our desires as we seek his glory and ask for wisdom in prayer. But, the best way to know if something is truly allowed or not allowed by God is to prayerfully read and rightly apply the Scripture, God’s perfect and sufficient word.
Lord, I thank you for your word. I thank you for giving me what I need to know your will. I thank you for the privilege of praying to you and for your promise of wisdom. I ask that you will help me to not make assumptions about the world around me without first looking to your word for your ways and your wisdom.