The story is captivating, that of Joshua chapter 9. And so typical of our lives yet today.
The Jews are now fully mobilized, like an army ready to attack a plethora of enemies … heathen occupying land long ago promised to the Jewish people. Land their forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had already claimed, occupied.
Nation after nation must be overcome!
But alas, God will be with them!
But, unsuspectedly, one of those enemy tribes (the Gibeonites) disguised themselves and sought a peace treaty with Joshua. They dressed like folks who had made a long journey, when in reality they were locals!
But they KNEW that they would soon be “dead” locals … if they didn’t try something!
Old shoes, mouldy bread, ragged clothes!
And Joshua and his leadership fell for the ruse, the whole pack of lies!
So … the Gibeonites gained peace with the Jews, via false witness, but peace nonetheless.
HOW could all this happen?
WHY hadn’t Jewish scouts spotted the scheme?
WHERE had discernment and counsel gone, all of a sudden?
Joshua 9:14 tells us … “And the men (Joshua and the elders of Israel) asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.”
They, at least this once, failed to seek the Lord’s Guidance in a matter!
They “begged” (a legitimate translation of “shaal” in Hebrew) not for the insight God could have given in the issue at hand!
To me this lesson goes beyond James 1:5. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” In which James merely teaches us the AVAILABLITY of Wisdom, it’s being ready for distribution at all time!
Joshua 9:14 suggests the necessity of never failing to ask for such Wisdom, such Counsel, from the mouth of the Lord! As in Proverbs 3:5-6 here: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Seek His Enlightenment all the time, in every situation!
What a lesson to be learned!
Yes, the Jews honored their peace treaty, even after the Gibeonite’s deception had been discovered. The right thing to do, but at the risk of failing to totally obey the Lord in the conquest of the Land!
It’s surely always best to … consult the Lord first!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell