And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
9 And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
John Bevere wrote a book titled "Good or God", that challenges God's children to adopt the evaluation of what is good, according to God rather than our society and the rules of this age.
The passage above can easily be applied to many situations today. Deception of God's people by the enemy is still one of his greatest tactics. The mere fact that the bible tells us the devil can appear as an angel of light is cause for increased awareness. 2 Corinthians 11:14. The thing is, you can not be deceived by something that looks like a lie- it obviously will appear to be and feel like the truth. If not, it wouldn't fit the definition of deception. Instead, it would be just an obvious lie.
So you mean something can look like a duck, quack like a duck and waddle like a duck and, well, not be a duck?
There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.- Proverbs 14:12
The enemy goes to great lengths to deceive believers. A look at the story above depicts how much detail the men went to in order to deceive Joshua. Of course there was a key component in Joshua and the elder's deception.
They did not ask counsel of the Lord.
That's a big one.
It's easy to look at Joshua and shake our heads at him. I mean seeking the Lord's counsel is a no-brainer, right?
Yet, how often have we taken it upon ourselves to make a decision based on how right it all looks and feels?
Sometimes a right thing to do, isn't the right thing to do.
Taking in a a family member who is put out on the street is a good thing to do right?
But what if that family member has issues not obvious to the naked eye that can affect your household or your children? What if problems with the law will bring those problems to your home? Maybe taking them in will enable habits that can only be broken by a cold hard stare in the face of reality.
From an outsider it may seem like a lack of compassion or consideration to not house a homeless family member. One could judge you for what they will call judging- it's not your place to assume that the person needs to learn a hard lesson in life... Yet the Word of God admonishes us to
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;- Proverbs 3:5-7a
We must "in ALL our ways acknowledge God and he will make our paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6.
Once Joshua realized he had been deceived he tried to resolve the situation by implementing his authority over it. Again, the Lord's counsel should have been sought. Who knows, if once the elders and Joshua repented, the Lord himself would have taken care of the Gibeonites? Joshua cared more at this point for his reputation than the direction of the Lord. He did not want to break a vow. However, if he sought the Lord, the Lord could have revealed that the vow was voided because it was made under false pretense.
While we can always speculate, this shows how the failure to acknowledge God can affect more than just one singular moment. It impacted far into the future of an entire nation.
Image from web
The mistake of assuming God-ness in what we perceive as goodness, can cost our family, our ministry, our peace, our journey.
Thankfully we have a God who is not surprised by our mistakes, and his grace is sufficient for us. He has a plan that takes our error into consideration.However, when we recognize that we have stepped off track, we must not try to resolve it in our own wisdom. That's what got us in the mess in the first place. We must acknowledge and submit to God so he can make our crooked path, straight again.