03/16/23 They Did Not Ask

READING: Joshua 9-12

More than once in my life, I’ve made a decision and later realized I had not prayed enough about it.* The problem is that I learned that fact only after realizing I had made a mistake. I don’t want to be consumed with regrets, but I do often wonder how life would have different in those situations had I sought the Lord’s wisdom in the first place.

The Hebrews learned that lesson the hard way in today’s reading. God had commanded them to eradicate their enemies in the land, and the Gibeonites had heard that rumor. They’d also heard about God’s evident protection and power on the Hebrews, so they cooked up a plan to convince the leaders that they weren’t “locals.” Their deception worked. 

A single verse in Joshua 9 hints at why the Gibeonites’ ruse was effective: “So the men [of Israel] took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD” (Joshua 9:14). It’s simple — the Hebrews didn’t pray. The men formed a treaty on the basis of what they perceived to be the truth, but their perception was decidedly wrong. Their trust of their own ability to figure out who the enemy was (and wasn’t) led only to trouble. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION:  What was the last decision you made without praying enough?         

DAILY PRAYER: “God, keep me on my knees, listening to You.”   


*Much of this devotion was first published in 2016.

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