Remember the Gibeonites

We use this saying in our household quite often because it reminds us to check with God before making a decision. Our text today is Joshua, chapter 9. It contains the record of the deception of the Gibeonites toward the nation of Israel. Have you noticed that men are trusting? I am glad that is the case. If we did not trust, we could never walk through a crowd at the store or market without constantly looking behind us to see if we are about to be attacked. We would never reach out to shake hands with a stranger lest we fear he may harm us. Generally speaking, we give most folks the benefit of the doubt about being of relatively good character. Our trust does not always prove to be well founded. Consider the business and investment scams that are perpetrated on young and old alike. Consider the lies of the dishonest sales person. Trust is a good thing. But, even God believed in “trust, but verify” (1 Thess. 5:21-22). Joshua reminds us of his own mistake in this principle in Joshua 9:14.

  • Always keep in mind what the Lord has said. If it is in the forefront of our mind, then we might save ourselves from many errors. David said, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm119:11). The young prophet from Judah forgot the importance of what God had already told him and took the word of a stranger (1 Kings 13).
  • Always ask God before each and every decision. I realize that we make dozens of small decisions a day. Even some of these need to be made after prayer. But, for certain, decisions with possible serious and long term consequences should be preceded by thoughtfulness and prayer.

As a consequence of not seeking the Lord’s will in this matter, Israel’s security in the land of Canaan was forever changed for worse. In many of our decisions about marriage, parenting, employment, recreation, money and a hundred other things, we can grievously hurt our spiritual welfare. Let’s think, pray and see what the Lord’s answer will be.

Mike Glenn (e-bulletin 2-2)