Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"...They did not consult the Lord..."

I'm reading through the book of Joshua right now. I love the story that you find in Joshua. Over and over again you see where the people of Israel hear from God and then do what He says (our definition of a disciple). Well, there's this interesting story in Chapter 9 where this group of Gibeonites makes a peace treaty with Israel. The Gibeonites are scared to death. They have heard how Israel has wiped out anyone and everyone in the land, so they resort to deception in order to save themselves. Who can blame them. I'd do the same thing.

They're pretty shrewd folks these Gibeonites. In order to make it appear that they are from a "distant land" they put on ragged clothes and sandals, take dry and moldy bread, and come raising the white flag to the Israelites begging for a peace treaty. Verse 14 says, "So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord."

It makes sense what the Israelites did. They looked at the situation, they looked at the circumstances, they looked at the evidence, and they made a rational decision. All the evidence showed that the Gibeonites were who they said they were and so the Israelites made the logical decision.

The thing the Israelites forgot was that they were God's chosen people. They forgot to bring God in on the decision. "They did not consult the Lord." Ouch.

This is a pretty powerful verse to me because so many times we make decisions based on what we can see. We make decisions based on the evidence that's in front of us. But we fail to "consult the Lord." We're told to "walk by faith and not by sight," but too often we leave faith out of the equation altogether.

This does not mean that we're to be stupid or irrational with our decision making. It just means that there's a God factor that we not only need to consider, but that we need to know and follow. God sees things we can't see. He knows things we don't know.

So what's my point? Don't be someone who fails to "consult the Lord." Don't just live by what you can see. "...they did not consult the Lord...," May that not be said of us.

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