If you have ever been to a State or County Fair then you can understand what is happening in Joshua chapter 9. The people who run the games at the fair, where you throw darts at balloons to try to pop them, or baseballs at stacked bowling pins for you to knock over, know how to convince you to step right up and show your lady friend how strong you are. They never show you what is truly going on with the game. You are told how someone who has your skill and ability will surely win everything they have hanging on the wall. The truth is, not nearly as many people win as play. Those games are designed to convince you of a reality that does not exist and usually flattery has a big role to play in the scam. The reason this tactic is so effective is that we love to hear how amazing we are and all that we are capable of achieving. In the end we realize we have been played the fool by our own egos and desires. This is not a new strategy, the people who run those games are simply using the same tactic the serpent used on Eve in the garden all those years ago, and that the people of Gibeon used on Joshua and the Israelites.
They appeal to Joshua by presenting all the right evidence, worn out clothing and old moldy bread along worn out shoes to show how far they have traveled to get to see Israel. Israel had been told not to make any treaties with people who lived in the land they where conquering so the Gibeonites are trying to convince them they are from far away. Another part of their trick was to play up how impressed they were by Joshua and Israel. “We are your servants, just command us, you great and awesome people, we just want to be your friends.” The Gibeonites tell Israel all about all the amazing feats they have heard about and before Joshua knew what had happened, Israel was eating out of the palm of the Gibeonites hand. You can almost hear a voice of reason saying, “don’t you guys think we should check out their story?” Followed by someone telling that voice to “be quiet the visitors are speaking more great things to say about us before they are done.” In the end Israel is fooled and tricked into signing a peace treaty with their enemies. Be careful to not fall into the same deceptions, not everyone who talks about how amazing you are is telling the truth!
How were they fooled?
gives you the answer. “but they did not ask counsel from the Lord.” It’s not that they forgot the correct questions to ask. They weren’t fooled due to lack of due diligence. No they were tricked because they failed to ask the Lord for Wisdom and the truth is, deep down they did not care what the Lord thought. They enjoyed the idea of someone coming and expressing such praise for their mighty deeds.
Wisdom is never out of our reach if we will just ask the Lord for some.
tells us that all we have to do is ask the Lord and He will grant us wisdom.
gives us insight into what can cause us to miss out on the Lord’s Wisdom. We do not have because we do not ask. Or we do ask but when we do, we ask wanting to use that wisdom or whatever we are asking for, to get what we want, not what God wants. God calls us to ask for wisdom to know His will, not how we can achieve our goals. This is where we miss the mark very often.
You may feel as though God has left you out in the cold on this frigid Monday morning but He hasn’t. You have the wisdom you need for the step in your journey that you are on. There are seasons where God calls us to wait for His plan to be revealed, rather than rushing in to fix a situation, where He calls us to wait until we have more information. Sometimes, for example we really want God to show us the next step in our life and journey with HIm. The next job, or maybe what person we should marry. Other times it could be that we are simply seeking resolution to a trying situation in our lives. There are times where God’s Wisdom to us is to simply wait. There are times where things are not as they appear. We do not want the same to happen to us as here in Joshua where we are being fooled either by someone else or our own selves. It could be waiting another day is the equivalent of checking to make sure no cars are coming, one more time before you enter the street.
I want to encourage you to wait on the Lord today until He provides clear answers for you. He has not forgotten you, He has given you the grace you need to make it through this, and if you ask Him, He will give you the wisdom you need to make your next move. Just make sure you are spending time with Him and not only seeing and hearing what you want to see and hear. Ask the Lord for His guidance and He will give it to you. Trust His promise not other people’s flattery today.