Snatching Defeat from Victory

Joshua 9:14 “So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD.”

Observation: The context here is that Joshua and his army were having enormous success confronting and defeating every enemy they came against, but each success had come through repeated consultation with God. One of the peoples yet to be confronted, the Gibeonites, knew they would be defeated, so their leaders created an elaborate lie about being from a far-off country (one that Joshua would not have to fight), and that they had come to pay homage. 

Application: Joshua and his men were taken in by the lies because they did not consult God. Instead, Joshua entered into a covenant with the Gibeonites, and then was “stuck” with allowing them to remain in the nation after the deception was discovered because of the covenant he had foolishly made.

Gibeonites were the illegal immigrants of that day. They had entered the country through deception and cunning, knowing that legitimate channels would have remained cut off from them. Joshua’s failure to act wisely laid the groundwork for future problems for the nation.

I must understand that my greatest vulnerability may well come in the midst of a string of victories. I can become overconfident and complacent, and begin to think past victories have been won because I’m so good. But failure to consult God at each step can lead to tragically unintended consequences. The enemy never surrenders his attempts to defeat me or to lead me into compromise, so I must remain vigilant, constantly seeking God’s face.

Prayer: Father, keep me mindful that You are the source of every good thing in my life. Keep me from the sin of presumption, as though I know so well what You want for me that I would act without having instruction or guidance from You.

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