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The sons of Israel did not strike them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. And the whole congregation murmured against the leaders. But all the leaders said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel; and now therefore we may not touch them. This we will do to them, and let them live; lest wrath be on us, because of the oath which we swore to them.” And the leaders said to them, “Let them live.” So they became wood cutters and drawers of water for all the congregation, and all the congregation did a as the leaders had spoken to them.
When reading these verses and expanding the story a little bit, you can learn a lot about the consequences of not obeying our Heavenly Father. As a parent, God knows our shortcomings and the consequences of not listening to Him. He stands back and allows us to make our own choices whether to listen and obey Him or go another route. Thats what happened to the Israelites at that time. God clearly told them multiple times not to make treaties with the people of Canaan and they did not obey.
“You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.”
“Be careful, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be for a snare in the midst of you”
“and when the LORD your God shall deliver them up before you, and you shall strike them; then you shall utterly destroy them: you shall make no covenant with them, nor show mercy to them”
Yet despise all of these orders, they failed to consult with God and pray over their situation at hand. The Israelites saw the peoples bread was dry and molded and that their wine skins were split. They assumed what the Gibeonites said was true. They made two big mistakes that day. The first mistake made was that they were taken advantage of and the Gibeonites were not destroyed like God commanded them to do. The second mistake was due to the decision of the Israelite leaders. It caused strife with their own people.
As a leader, either at home with your family, at work, or at your church; you will have many opportunities to disobey God’s word. You will have people lie to you and try to trick you into not following our Heavenly Father. You will have difficult choices to make in life. It is up to you to “stop” and think things through. When you disobey God you will not be able to blame others for your faulty decisions. Take some time to pray and consult God. There is no better mentor than He is. After reading His word and praying over the decision at hand will give you clarity to make the right decision.
This lesson can be used in all aspects of our lives. Whenever you have a situation in life, a decision to make, or a obstacle to overcome; do what Joshua and his leaders should have done. Consult with God and see what you should do. Read His word and see what the Israelites choices were and if their outcome was favorable. This way you will be blessed in everything you do because you know you are following what God ordered us to do. Just knowing God supports your decision will give you confidence and make your day. God bless you all and I leave you with one more verse for today.
“You shall walk in all the way which the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess.”