A Dangerous Way to Live

David Gaunt

“However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse:  They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.  They put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes.  All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy.  Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the Israelites, ‘We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us…’ The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.  Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.  Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them.”  Joshua 9:3-6, 14-16

“Can I go over to my friend’s house after school next Friday?”  Those are the kind of simple questions children and teenagers ask countless times over the course of an average month.  Life moves at a quick pace with many demands, so it’s nice to have some simple questions.  Very often those being asked will focus on how it will affect them: their schedule, their resources, and their effort.  If it turns out to be convenient, the answer tends to be yes.  But that’s a dangerous way to live.

Notice the above story from Joshua.  The Israelites had been commanded to take “the whole land and to wipe out all its inhabitants from before” them (Joshua 9:24).  The Gibeonites knew this, but they didn’t want to leave, become Jewish, or die.  So they deceived Joshua and his leadership team into making a bad choice.

Notice the big mistake made in Joshua 9:14.  God’s people took things at face value, but didn’t seek God’s input.  That’s a dangerous way to live.  But it’s how many of us deal with the many questions and choices we face in our hectic days.

Consider the sample question above.  When you are responsible for the physical and spiritual welfare of a youth, there is so much more to take into account than if it is convenient.  But that is true of any decision we face.

Joshua and his team asked good questions and seemed to be thorough in their examination of the situation.  But they didn’t stop and pray about it.  Within days, they realized they had made an irreversible decision that would cost them dearly for years to come.

Don’t live dangerously.  Get into the habit of always seeking God’s input on even the seemingly simple decisions.  Stop and pray.  See what the Bible says about it.  Don’t be pressured by someone else’s deadline, if you don’t know yet, don’t commit.  This is all part of waiting on the Lord.   

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