ODJ: ask God first

April 27, 2014 

READ: Joshua 9:1-27 

The Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the LORD. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them . . . and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath (vv.14-15).

In my radio work I’m always listening for new talent, and have at times foolishly chosen to work with people because of their impressive experience or larger-than-life personalities. Previous poor judgements have taught me to stop and listen to that “still small voice”. Now I check in with the Lord before being simply swept away by a person’s charisma and impressive words.

God promised the land of Canaan to the Israelites and commanded them to wipe out every nation that stood against Him (Deuteronomy 20:15-18). The Gibeonites knew this and, fearing for their lives, came up with an elaborate and shrewd plan. They told Joshua and the men of Israel that they had come from a distant land and then asked for a treaty of peace (Joshua 9:6-13). As part of their ruse, the Gibeonites wore old clothes and patched sandals. They brought along mouldy bread and cracked wineskins and told an impressive story of the long distance they had travelled (vv.3-5).

The Gibeonites were successful. The Israelites examined their food but didn’t consult the Lord (v.14) and they were deceived into signing a peace agreement with their neighbours (v.15). The Gibeonites weren’t destroyed (vv.19-20), but they were cursed for their lie and became slaves to the Israelites (vv.26-27).

The blind trust of the leaders of Israel cost them part of the land of Canaan. They never enjoyed the fullness of the Promised Land because they didn’t first inquire of the Lord. Whatever your role or circumstance, you need the wisdom of the only One who knows the true intent of every heart. Take the time to inquire of the Lord and He will guide you and make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). —Ruth O’Reilly-Smith
365-day plan› 2 Kings 22:1-23:3

Read 1 Samuel 23:1-12 and see how David’s repeated inquiring of the Lord led to blessing. 
What are some things in your life that you need to bring to God for guidance and direction? How will you seek His will practically in the days ahead?