Because I Didn’t Ask

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

— Proverbs 11:14

 In the Old Testament account of Joshua claiming the Promised Land is the embarrassing account of the Gibeonite deception. When the residents of Gibeon heard how easily the Israelites had taken Jericho, they were terrified. So they dressed in old clothes and patched sandals, loaded donkeys with moldy bread and limped to the edge of the Israelite camp with a white flag. They told Joshua they’d traveled a long way to make peace. Their ruse worked. A treaty was signed. Three days later, Joshua learned he’d been duped by the people next door.

How did this happen? Joshua failed to ask God for discernment, and it cost him. This seems a strange choice for a hero who’d won Jericho by carefully following the Lord’s instructions. Had Joshua taken a moment to ask God how to handle these strange visitors, his army might have been spared the bloody battle required to hold up their end of the treaty.

It’s easy to point a finger at Joshua’s foolishness, but how often do we make major decisions without consulting God? Should we take that job? Marry that man? Move across the country? Invest in that financial opportunity? Have that surgery?

Forging ahead on our own works out fine—most of the time. Or so we think. But how many times have our decisions taken us into battle? Gotten us in over our heads? We often wait until it looks like we’re going to lose to finally ask, “Where are you God?”

It’s interesting that God allowed Joshua to make a mistake and suffer the consequences. But when Joshua finally asked for help, God made the sun stand still and sent hail to Joshua’s aid. The same God who saved Joshua has promised to come to our rescue . . . if we ask. Better still, He stands ready to guide our decisions and spare us hurtful consequences . . . if only we will ask.

Today’s One Thing

Is there a decision looming large in your life? Spend time today in prayer.

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