Over the next several posts I am going to talk about why seeking God is important.
Today I want to talk about a story in the book of Joshua, chapter 9. Let’s start off with a little back story first. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt. But centuries before, God had promised them that they would have land of their own. So God delivered them for slavery and brought them out of Egypt. Unfortunately on their way to the promised land they did many things that angered the Lord. So they didn’t make it to their new home right away.
But finally when the time came for them to capture the land, God helped them and commanded them to remove the other people who lived in that land. They did so, region by region. First they defeated Jericho and then they destroyed Ai.
Some of the people living in the area heard the stories about the Israelites and how God performed miracles on their behalf. This made some of them scared. They knew the Lord was with the Israelites and would help them defeat their enemies.
One day the Gibeonites (also called the Hivites) traveled to see Joshua and the Israelites. They said that they were from a far away land and came to make a treaty. Joshua asked them where they were from. They said they were from a distant land. Then to prove it, they showed them how their bread had molded along their journey, how their wineskins had become cracked over time as they traveled, and they showed them that their clothing and sandals had a lot of wear.
So Joshua and the Israelites made a peace treaty with them. Unfortunately, they did not seek God before doing so. A few days later they found out that these people actually lived nearby. The whole thing had been a set up. The people feared that the Israelites would kill them, so they lied about being from a far away country. They purposely carried moldy bread, old wineskins, and beat up clothing.
We might think, “Oh well. What’s the big deal?” For one thing, they made an oath in the name of the Lord. If they broke that oath, they would have made themselves look bad and made God look bad as well. Also, it had been a command that they run off the other people who lived in that land. This was because many of them worshipped other gods and performed sinful acts. God knew that they would be a bad influence on His children.
God always has our best interest in mind. When He tells us to do something, He has good reason. And when we neglect to seek His guidance on important decisions, we might miss God’s best for us.