“The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.”
It’s far too easy to leave the Living God out of our daily decision making. We rely on our wits and reasoning abilities. We calculate a little and do what seems best to us. We fail to ‘inquire of the Lord’.
Israel had experienced some marvelous victories. Jericho had fallen. Wicked kings had been defeated. Israel was riding high. Their confidence was brimming.
A few successes can lead us to an undue trust in our own resources. We can begin to feel that our grasp of reality is inviolable. We fail to accept that we will all face our own Gibeonites in this world.
The Gibeonites feared Israel, and so moved to deceive them. Although Israel was to take their land, the Gibeonites, knowing this, disguised themselves as vagabonds and claimed to be a people from far away, and then asked for Israel to make a treaty of peace with them.
The Gibeonites brought forth their evidence, all convincing to the seeing eye. Moldy bread. Cracked wineskins. Worn out clothing. We are told that ‘the men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.’ Convinced by what they saw, Israel made a treaty with the Gibeonites, and thus lost the land that was to be theirs.
It’s tempting merely to live and discern things by the seeing eye, according to outward standards. We are seduced to trust in what we think we know. Our scientific examinations become gods, and we leave the Living God out of the picture.
If Israel had merely taken a moment to pray things would have turned out differently.
There is frequently more going on in our lives than meets the eye. People do lie. Those who claim to have our best interests in mind are in it for themselves.
When it comes to what our Lord has clearly revealed in Scripture,
it is our duty simply to obey.
When it comes to aspects of our daily lives where Scripture is otherwise silent,
it is our duty and joy to pray.
We must remember that God is our caring Father and, Jesus, the Eternal Son, is seated as Lord over all. Both the Father and the Son, Scripture teaches, send forth the Spirit to us to instruct us.
The Triune God wants to live in relationship with us. In our daily lives, he invites us to seek his guidance, to pray.
Prayer doesn’t guarantee us quick answers to our pressing questions—like whether you should buy the house or not, or whether we should marry the person we’re dating or not. It is God’s prerogative to speak; it is our privilege to seek God’s wisdom, and invite him to speak to us.
Living Lord, help us to seek your wisdom daily, even for small things. Walk with us and keep us from folly. Amen.