“And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD” (Joshua 9:14).
The children of Israel had been instructed to destroy the inhabitants of the land promised to them (Deuteronomy 7:2). Not only were the people in the land ripe for judgment, but if allowed to live they would prove to be a snare—leading God’s people into false worship.
Hivites, living in nearby Gibeon and sensing doom, decided to trick Israel into believing a lie. Pretending they were people from a distant land, they sought peace with Israel. In turn, Israel “asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD,” and made peace with these inhabitants of the land.
Though Christians today should pull down strong holds and bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4,5), they are under obligation to love godless neighbors. Vengeance does not belong to them but to the Lord. Loving enemies, however, is not the same thing as choosing friends to trust. There are still principles to be learned from this historical passage.
Most Christians mingle with unbelievers in various contexts, but do we ask the Lord for wisdom when tempted to join in with questionable activity—such as laughing at empty humor or linking with godless activity in some way?
The Lord did not instruct Israel to hand over the education of their children to heathen neighbors, for example, and Christians today should seek His wisdom before leaving children in rooms with people who act and talk like God is irrelevant to life, or before leaving children in rooms alone with technology that has been programmed by people of the same relativistic mind-set.
A failing of Israel was their not seeking counsel of the Lord. May God’s people today seek His will—asking “counsel at the mouth of the LORD” Jesus Christ. PGH