In the book of Joshua, God’s people have a very unfortunate experience of poor spiritual leadership in what the New Living Translation calls “The Gibeonite Deception” (sounds like the title of an action/thriller to me). Specifically, as Israel was entering into the land God had promised to them through Abraham, they were not to enter into any treaties or agreements with the peoples currently resident.
A particularly resourceful people, the Gibeonites, saw the handwriting on the wall and decided to pretend that they weren’t residents of the land at all, but a nomadic tribe from a land far, far away who had heard of the exploits of these people of Yahweh and wanted to align themselves with them. The telling line in the story, describing Israel’s leaders, is:
“So the leaders partook of their provisions, and did not ask direction from the Lord.” (Josh 9:14)
The Hivites from the city of Gibeon and other surrounding towns tricked Israel into a treaty by pretending to have come a very long distance to make it. This is a case of taking only the evidence of our eyes without seeking the wisdom and direction of the Lord. It says that our human perspective can be insufficient to make a decision or take action that is in keeping with God’s kingdom purposes.
It’s Isaiah 55:8-9 again, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”
Prayer: “I’m so grateful for many good things I am enjoying today which are clearly a fruit of your generous favor and not my self-deserved earnings. I am now an author. You gave me insights, prayerful friends and a helpful publisher that brought me to that place. You’ve given me counselors who press me to take steps that help me overcome my fears (just as you did to your people Israel as they entered the land). Help me to keep growing as a man who always seeks direction from you. Protect me from making decisions based only on my limited human and earthbound perspectives. Amen.