Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31 - Joshua 9

Today's reading in our daily plan is Joshua 9. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The Israelites have just won a big battle.  The surrounding cities are furious about their triumph and decide to wage war against them (verses 1-2).
  • The Gibeonites are one nation that is afraid of the Israelites, so they deceive the Israelites about their true identity and into making a peace treat with them (verses 3-21).
  • The Israelites go with their own discernment and “did not inquire of the Lord” (verse 14) to try and get wisdom from Him.
  • Later, Joshua discovers the truth about the Gibeonites and confronts them for their deception.  He decides to honor the commitment he had made not to harm them, even though he was deceived into making that commitment to them.  He mercifully spares their lives and allows them to serve the nation of Israel (verses 22-26).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • The Israelites were fooled because they “did not inquire of the Lord.”  God is able and ready to give us wisdom and discernment when we have decisions to make.  But we must be humble enough to not be self-sufficient and to turn to Him. 
  • When we make commitments, we need to keep them.  Too often we try to find ways out of our commitments when we no longer feel like they serve us, but it is honorable to always keep our commitments.
  • God is a merciful God and blesses those who extend mercy to others (see Matthew 5:7).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • When you have decisions to make, do you inquire of the Lord?  Have you built the habit into your life of seeking God and His wisdom, listening for His guidance?  Ask God to help you do that from now on.
  • How can you strive to be more truthful and more of a commitment-keeper in your life?
  • To who have you recently extended mercy?  Is there anyone who needs to receive some mercy from you now?