Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joshua and the Gibeonites

We have a major decision to make and we're seeking God's guidance as we don't know what to do.  It's not as simple as casting lots.  I would love to solve life's problems so easily.  Laying a fleece out in the rain (or snow) is a tempting solution also.

I mentioned to Jeff this evening that we don't want to make the mistake that Joshua made.  Despite being an amazing leader to the children of Israel he once made a hasty decision that cost him dearly.  Joshua made a peace treaty with the Gibeonites without consulting God first.  Why need to bother God with such a small decision?  These poor tired ambassadors from distant Gibeon appear honest.  But they were locals who were feared annihilation and successfully tricked Joshua into the treaty.  The repercussions affected subsequent generations as King Saul eventually broke the treaty and killed many of the Gibeonites.   Then under King David's rule God cursed the land with a famine for three years.  In order to end the curse that resulted from King Saul's sin, seven of his children or grandchildren were killed.  II Samuel 21:1-9  All of this occurred because one man did not consult God when making a decision. Charles Spurgeon said, "We generally make our worst mistakes in matters which appear to us to be so plain that we think we do not need direction from God concerning them."

How do we know which choice is the right one? 
  • We must allow the peace of God to rule our hearts.  Colossians 3:15  Yesterday I heard David Jeremiah on our local station KJIA mention this verse and he explained that the word rule translated from the Greek can mean "umpire."  (I didn't take his word for this and I looked it up for myself).  We should allow God's peace to call the shots, so to speak. 
  • We must make certain this decision doesn't violate any of God's commands.  How many times can selfish motivations skew our judgment?
  • We must pray that God will make the way clear.  Like Moses we must pray "if I have found grace in your sight, shew me now your way" and "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here."  Exodus 33:13-15

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