Pray First, Then Decide
"The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord." Joshua 9:14 (NIV)
The story of the Gibeonites deceiving Joshua and the Israelites (Joshua 9) is a fun little story of psychology and trickery. It's shrewd on the part of the Gibeonites to forge a peace treaty with Israel, knowing of Israel's recent victories in battle due to God's power and leadership. Self-preservation is a strong motivator! Joshua's response is also a great example of our human desire to trust other people and their life stories. The trouble came when Joshua agreed to the peace treaty without first consulting God.
It's altogether possible that God would have consented to sparing the Gibeonites, so that decision itself is not the chief concern here. More important is that Joshua made this decision on his own, without talking to God about what he should do. This is so easy for us to do, too. Sometimes life moves pretty fast, and we're pressed to make decisions just as quickly. How often do we forget to stop and pray? This story is a good reminder for me. I can weigh my options and turn them over and over in my mind, but if I haven't talked through them with God, I risk making decisions outside of God's will. Proverbs 3:6 teaches us the same lesson: In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
This is my reminder to you today (and your invitation to remind me in return): Stop and ask God first before making your next decision. His peace is so good. - Kathy Raines