"The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD."

Joshua 9:14, NIV 


This verse culminates what was to become known as the Gibeonite deception. The Israelites had been commissioned by God to go throughout the entire land of Canaan and destroy all of the people who lived there. It was to be the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham some 400 years prior, when He told Abraham that his descendants would punish these people when their sins had reached "full measure" (Genesis 15:16). In other words, God was going to give these people four centuries to repent of their evil, but if they didn't then God would give the entire land to the people who would later become known as the Jews.


So that is what Joshua was doing. He was purging the land of its wicked people. There were to be no exceptions, but the Gibeonites who lived in Canaan had other ideas. They had already observed the Israelites defeating every people of every territory in Canaan and they didn't want to be next. So they resorted to a ruse and told the Israelites that they were actually people from a far off land. And instead of consulting God, the Israelites trusted their own judgment and made a treaty with the Gibeonites and ended up violating God's command concerning the people of Canaan. As a result, the Gibeonites escaped God's punishment and the Israelites became responsible for their safety and well being.


Have you ever noticed how history repeats itself? I have noticed that every time God's people ignore His commands to punish the wicked that the righteous people end up the ones being punished. Whether it is something as simple as failing to make your children obey you and then having your life made miserable by the penalties of having to deal with the consequences of their evil behavior, or something more serious such as dealing with the oppressive guilt and having to replace the lost income from the fifty million children that our nation's people have  aborted, we will always pay a heavy price for relying on our own wisdom rather than God's.


The Gibeonites ended up being a thorn in the side of Israel because Israel allowed themselves to be tricked. They could have avoided that by simply inquiring of God, but they thought that they were too smart to need His advice. How much grief would your life be spared if you made the effort to inquire of God rather than sinful man?


The Old Testament contains a treasure trove of lessons just like this one for those who are willing to search out its wealth. It just requires a determination to stop relying on our own wisdom and the so-called "wisdom" of sinful man, and to begin inquiring of the Lord for His.


"Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe."

Proverbs 29:25, NIV


Today is Day 2 of the Thirty Day Challenge to read through the Old Testament books of the Champions and the Kings. The reading for today is Joshua 9-16. May God richly bless your efforts as you seek to inquire of Him!