“Failure To Seek God’s Counsel First” Josh. 9:14-15
“And the men took of their victuals/provisions and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD.” Joshua 9:14
How do you go from ‘ultimate defeat’ in chapter seven, to ‘ultimate victory’ in chapter eight, to ‘ultimate stupidity’ in chapter nine, to ‘ultimate victory’ in chapter ten? Because the LORD is the center of your victory or His absence is the cause of your defeat and stupidity. Joshua, Joshua, Joshua, wake up and smell the humus! Over, and over, and over; aren’t you glad, we are not like that? We always learn from our mistakes the first time, right? Oh, did they lie and deceive Joshua and his men into thinking they were from a far away country, by wearing old clothes, bringing old, torn wine skins, and moldy bread? The Jewish people had learned that obedience was necessary for victory at Jericho and Ai but they had not learned the need for ‘Divine Guidance’ for their journey as of yet, or that, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD,” and his stops too.
The Gibeonites would only bring trouble to Israel Josh. 10:4-15; II Sam. 21:1-14. Also the very presence of the Gibeonites across the center of the ‘Promised Land’ would isolate the ten tribes in the north from the two tribes in the south. This led to hard feelings and the dividing of the kingdom in Rehoboam and Jeroboam’s day, I King’s 12.
Joshua 9:15 says, “And Joshua made (asah; made an offering or sacrifice of peace (shalom) with them (the Gibeonites) and he made a (ka-rath; to cut, or kill, to cut a covenant something had to die) to make a league (ber-eth; a pledge, a covenant, an alliance, a treaty) with them (the Gibeonites) to let them live (kha-ya; to have life, remain alive, live prosperously) and the princes (na-se; chiefs, captains, leaders) of the congregation swore (sha-vah; adjure, took an oath, seven, the septenary number was sacred) unto them.” Oaths were confirmed either by seven sacrifices, see Gen. 21:28, or seven witnesses or seven pledges. This was a very binding ‘Pledge or Covenant’ which they took. They swore an oath, they cut a covenant, they sacrificed an animal to God, they made a peace offering, they pledged their allegiance, they shed innocent blood, and they promised them a prosperous life and protection without ever seeking God’s counsel, advice or face. They never consulted the ‘High Priest,’ or the ‘Urim & Thummim.’ They will soon find out but too late, the godless always divide the Godly, ALWAYS!
Their second mistake or maybe it was their first was not seeking out God’s word for direction and instruction, because Exodus 23:28-33 which they just read at the end of chapter eight at the altar on Mount Ebal says, “And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before them,” v. 29. “I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.” (Interesting, this same principle works in His church with cleansing. He doesn’t drive the hornets or busy-bees out all at once). v. 30, says, “By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased and inherit the land.” Note v. 32, “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.” And Joshua goes on and does just that. Do you see now the importance of, ‘The Word & Prayer’ and how they must go together and stay together all the time? God intended it to work that way. We go to His Word to seek the mind of God on a particular matter then we go to His Throne to seek the will of God on that matter; They work, ‘hand in hand.’ They are like two rails of a train track and you need both to keep your train on track or it will surely crash. The Gibeonites will be a nest of hornets in Israel’s flesh all because Joshua and Israel’s leaders did not seek God’s word and God’s face before making a covenant with a foreign Godless nation. (Wake up America!)
So, Joshua and the nation of Israel traveled three days and found the liars in Gibeon and the nation of Israel was upset but their leadership cut a covenant with them. So, they made the Hivites hewers of wood and carriers of water for the house of God, v. 23, and the house of Israel, v. 27. Even though Gibeon was a great city, a royal city, greater than Ai, and all it’s men were mighty men it still sold itself into slavery for fear of the ‘One true God of Israel.’ Then Adoni-zedek, King of Jerusalem and four other kings attack it for selling itself out to the Jewish people and their God, YeHoVaH! However, as we shall see in Joshua chapter Ten, this was the LORD’s ‘Providential Plan.’ Many times when we do stupid stuff, God will turn it around and use it for His glory, not yours, His! But don’t count on Him to always dig you out of the pile of dung you got yourself into, sometimes He let’s you sit in it and fester and stink for awhile. However, He is Omniscient as well as Omnipotent and He is going to come to Joshua’s rescue once again or is it the Gibeonites, I guess we will have to wait and see. Remember, “Read His Word, and then go to His Throne,” He is waiting for you and do that before you make any decision, big or small. You got that, ‘Servant of the LORD?’ Now heed it, don’t just read it! Till next time, I’ll see you, “…Between the Lines…”
“Failure To Seek God’s Counsel First” Josh. 9:14-15 – 6/14/18