in your hand

Today's devotion from Joshua 9.

After the mistake with Achan that led to their defeat at Ai, you would think that the Israelites would have learned their lesson. What lesson? To seek God’s guidance for the path forward. It appeared they had learned from their mistake. The conclusion of Joshua 8 is a renewal of the covenant. That’s a great start in the right direction, but it was incomplete.

As news of the Israelites and God’s work among them spread, so too did the reactions of the people in the land. Some became like fierce animals, and planned attacks and counter measures. We will encounter a group that responded in this way tomorrow. However, there were others that feared for their lives. Taking matters into their own hands, they set out to circumvent the coming confrontation.

Enter the Gibeonites. They lived within a few days journey of the Israelites. They had heard about the work of God in destroying those who opposed His people. They might have thought about conflict, but they decided against it pretty quickly. Instead, they would trick the Israelites into a promise of peace.

The real problem presents itself in Joshua 9:14 where we read, “Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions, but did not seek the Lord’s decision.” (Joshua 9:14, CSB) Did you catch that? Once again they failed to go to God. You see, it’s not enough to go to God on issues of war, but on issues of peace as well. Everything needs to be subject to His guidance in our lives. Because of their failure to do so on this occasion there was strife and conflict among the people themselves.

Take the time to seek the counsel of God in all matters. In the case of the Gibeonites, Israel will eventually suffer three years of famine in the reign of David because King Saul broke the covenant with them. Every aspect of our lives needs to come before God.