It seemed like a good idea at the time

Joshua 9:14-15 14 The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. 15 Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time.”  These are words that you don’t want to hear.  Even more so, you don’t want to say them.  They are words of regret, words that say “I messed that one up pretty good.”  If you do have to say these words, I hope it is because you made a petty mistake.  I hope it is not because you are sitting in the hospital having a major procedure done.  Once upon a time, my daughter put a little yellow ball up her nose.  I have no idea why she did it, except for that it probably seemed like a harmless thing to do at the time.  Getting it out… let’s just say we laughed and she cried.  It wasn’t all that fun.

We humans do some pretty mindless things like the thing that Joshua did here in chapter 9.  The Gibeonites, who are neighbors of the Israelites, come to town disguised as some far off travelers.  They dress up in worn out clothes and even bring some moldy bread with them.   Unfortunately for the Israelites, they hadn’t yet met their new neighbors so they didn’t catch on to the trickery.  Now the Gibeonites had heard about how God was going to wipe out all of Israel’s neighbors, so they devised a plan to save their lives.  If they could just get God’s people to swear on His name to spare them, they would have to stand by it.

So they come riding into town with their fraud.  Joshua is suspect; he isn’t sure if he is buying it.  The Gibeonites don’t crack under the pressure; they just lie some more.  Then it happens – verse 14.  The Israelites use their eyes, ears, and mouths as their guide.  They sample the provisions and wouldn’t you know it, this stuff tastes really old.  They must have traveled far.  But they did not inquire of the Lord.  And therein lies the fatal mistake. They counted on what they could see rather than on what God could see.

How many times do we do the same thing?  We try to make life’s decisions with our eyes and our ears.  Common sense seems like the most logical approach to many of the difficult choices we are faced with.  However, what we really need is to inquire of the Lord.  We need His wisdom.  We need discernment to be able to know the difference between the truth and a lie.  We cannot rely on our capacity to navigate this life, we must rely on His. Inquiring of the Lord eliminates regret and gives us an assurance of the decisions we make.  Learn from Joshua today and don’t make the same mistake he did.

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