Guile of the Gibeonites
9 Now it came about when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country and in the lowland and on all the coast of the Great Sea toward Lebanon, the Hittite and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, heard of it, 2 that they gathered themselves together with [a]one accord to fight with Joshua and with Israel.
3 When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai,4 they also acted craftily and [b]set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and [c]mended, 5 and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. 6 They went to Joshua to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.” 7 The men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you are living [d]within our land; how then shall we make a covenant with you?” 8 But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” Then Joshua said to them, “Who are you and where do you come from?” 9 They said to him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the [e]fame of the Lord your God; for we have heard the report of Him and all that He did in Egypt,10 and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan who was at Ashtaroth. 11 So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; now then, make a covenant with us.”’ 12 This our bread was warm when we took it for our provisions out of our houses on the day that we left to come to you; but now behold, it is dry and has become crumbled. 13 These wineskins which we filled were new, and behold, they are torn; and these our clothes and our sandals are worn out because of the very long journey.” 14 So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the [f]counsel of the Lord. 15 Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation swore an oath to them.
As I read this, I kept waiting for it. Where was the fatal mistake? I had read the story before, so I knew the end result, but in verse 14 the real mistake just comes bouncing off the page.
They “did not ask for the counsel of the Lord.” And so happens the conundrum of Gibeon. It doesn’t end there, but that’s for another day. Today, it’s important to know that God is interested in all we do, for His hand has a play in all of it. He set it in motion millennia ago, and we would do well to seek His will in everything. Maybe not in what color socks we wear, but there are plenty of “mundane” things we might do that would be better off with God’s take on them, not to mention the important decisions we make each and every day. Seek Him first… that seems to be a recurring theme lately.