When we are faced with God-World type decisions, it can be difficult. We may not know where God is in the situation. We may need to go through a rather lengthy process that takes our faith in God and applies it to the details of our real lives. Once that process is complete, though, the choice should be clear. We choose God’s plan. We choose God’s ways. We choose God.
Joshua and the Israelite leaders faced people who were lying to their face. These people were evil in God’s sight, and were working a scam to get Joshua and the other leaders to make a deal with them. Their plan worked.
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. (Joshua 9:14 ESV)
They did not make their faith real. They took the time to investigate the claims of the people in front of them. They even remembered what the LORD had told them earlier in their lives. They did not, however, take the time to ask the LORD for wisdom and direction. In other words, they considered the World and Scripture, but they did not pray. The result was that they were deceived. Then they made a very costly mistake.
And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. (Joshua 9:15 ESV)
They made a covenant commitment with a group of people they were supposed to wipe out. Now they are caught in a lose-lose situation. If they wipe the people out, they are going against their own commitment before God. They will be sinning for breaking their covenant. If they let the people live, they will be rebelling against the LORD’s instructions. They will be sinning by rebelling against God. They created this lose-lose situation by not turning to God in the first place. The result will be what the LORD warned them about all the way back in Moses’ day.
But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. And I will do to you as I thought to do to them." (Numbers 33:55-56 ESV)
How about you? Do you remember the things God has said in the past that are now preserved for us in the pages of Scripture? Do you compare the decisions you need to make to God’s Word? Before following through on your decision, to you take the time to ask God for wisdom and direction through prayer? Do you live out your faith in the details of your life?