Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 25, 2015

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”

Today’s devotion comes from Joshua Chapter 9.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%2010&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“3 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4 they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, 5 and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves;  and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled.  6 They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” 7 The men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you are living within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?”  8 But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.”  Then Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?”  9 They said to him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the fame of the Lord your God; for we have heard the report of Him and all that He did in Egypt, 10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan who was at Ashtaroth.  11 So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants;  now then, make a covenant with us.” ’ 12 This our bread was warm when we took it for our provisions out of our houses on the day that we left to come to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become crumbled.  13 These wineskins which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey.”  14 So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.  15 Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.

16 It came about at the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were neighbors and that they were living within their land.  17 Then the sons of Israel set out and came to their cities on the third day.  Now their cities were Gibeon and Chephirah and Beeroth and Kiriath-jearim.  18 The sons of Israel did not strike them because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord the God of Israel.  And the whole congregation grumbled against the leaders.  19 But all the leaders said to the whole congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we cannot touch them.  20 This we will do to them, even let them live, so that wrath will not be upon us for the oath which we swore to them.”  21 The leaders said to them, “Let them live.”  So they became hewers of wood and drawers of water for the whole congregation, just as the leaders had spoken to them.”  Joshua Chapter 9:  Verses 3-21.

——————–

“So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.”  Verse 14.

Many times, nothing or little will be said to us directly about the consequences of failing to seek the counsel of the LORD.

And, we and others may think that we chose the better course of action.  For example, using today’s Scripture, we may think:  “Isn’t it more humane to make the Gibeonites servants rather than kill them all?”     

But, we will learn in the very next chapter how the presence of the Gideonites (and Israel’s covenant with them) drew Israel into war with the five kings of the Amorites.  And, who knows what were the other consequences?

Yes, the LORD can cause all things (even our sin) to work together for our good like He did give victory to Israel over the five kings of the Amorites.  But, the lesson of today’s Scripture is that we should seek the counsel of the LORD even in what we think is a small matter that we think we are wise enough to know what is best. 

“5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.”  Proverbs 3:5-8.

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