[From May 22, 2013]
"So the leaders partook of their provisions, and did not ask direction from the LORD."
Israel is on a roll! The hand of God is mightily upon them as they move into Canaan, carving out space for themselves, defeating neighbor after neighbor in battle... just as God has commanded them. It's hard to read these chapters today without thinking of the ongoing fighting & strife in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the Biblical writer seems to want us to know the Israelites were obeying God's commands in their new "Promised Land."
But there's a curious interlude in chapter 9 with the Hivites/Gibeonites. They see all the devastation that's taking place, and feel their only option is trickery to survive. So they dress in rags, bring moldy bread, and pretend they've come from afar solely for purpose of joining the Israelites, as political refugees. They beg for mercy & seek a treaty between their two peoples. The Israelite leaders fall for it, and make the alliance. Three days later they discover they've been punk'd (tricked) by their neighbors that God had previously commanded them to destroy. But true to their word, they don't attack them. Ever.
The verse that got to me was v.14: "So the leaders partook of their (the Gibeonites) possessions, and did not ask direction from the LORD." This cut me to the core. How often, as an indivudal and as a church leader, do I move forward based on my own personal insight & decision-making process... without stopping to "inquire of the LORD"? I would be afraid of having an inventory taken on my past actions/decisions. So how can I improve in this area? Only by God's help.
PRAYER: LORD God, you are the Almighty! You have plans for me, my family, and your Church in Aiea. Thank you for placing me in those positions of authority. But I don't want to be the one who makes the decisions on my own. I want You to guide and direct my plans. So help me to "inquire of you" about everything. Speak so I can hear. Direct me in the ways I should go and lead. Don't let me be deceived by not turning to you. In Jesus' Name...