“They did not ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord.” (9:14)
The events of chapter 9 reveal a defeat of a very different kind when a group of people employed subtlety and cunning to gain advantage. Such has been the case on many occasions against God’s people and the church. Jude tells us how deceitful men can creep in unawares and silently (Jude v.3). We need to be constantly vigilant and upon our guard in case the enemy takes advantage of us. In the story, the Gibeonites realising that they faced certain annihilation adopted the very plausible strategy of disguising themselves. Dressed in old clothes and armed with persuasive words, it was all very convincing. Despite questioning and interrogating them severely, the leaders of Israel made the deadly error of not asking the Lord (v.14). They had been too busy occupied with victories, battles, strategies and thus were distracted. They ended up relying upon their own wits, but it was a great mistake. Too late they realised their fault. Church growth is a wonderful thing, but beware that we do not become distracted by the busyness that such growth creates, The enemy is never too far away. When the deceit had become uncovered, distress and complaint soon followed (v.18); but, by then it was too late to turn back. A compromise was reached whereby the Gibeonites became menial servants. Beware of the craft of men; it is far from easy to retrace our steps.
PRAYER :- “Lord, help me to see what is most important and always to rely upon You.”