Have you ever made a decision based on the evidence presented before you? Have you carefully looked at what has been presented and said yes, this is okay? Have you made a decision based on natural factors? We all have and we all have made mistakes.
Now let’s look at this account from the bible:
And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai,
4 They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
5 And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy.
6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us.
7 And the men of Israel said unto the Hivites, Peradventure ye dwell among us; and how shall we make a league with you?
8 And they said unto Joshua, We are thy servants. And Joshua said unto them, Who are ye? and from whence come ye?
9 And they said unto him, From a very far country thy servants are come because of the name of the Lord thy God: for we have heard the fame of him, and all that he did in Egypt,
10 And all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites, that were beyond Jordan, to Sihon king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, which was at Ashtaroth.
11 Wherefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spake to us, saying, Take victuals with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say unto them, We are your servants: therefore now make ye a league with us.
12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we came forth to go unto you; but now, behold, it is dry, and it is mouldy:
13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
14 And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord.
15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation sware unto them.
From the above account, we can see that Joshua made his decision based on what he saw?
What evidence did these me present to Joshua?
Old wine bottles
The evidence looked appealing based on their story (Joshua 9; 9 – 13) “all these items are old because of the long journey”, and before we stone Joshua, we all have made decisions based on what we see and what we are told. In other words, supporting evidence to an account given.
If you notice, their evidence covered most of what is required for a journey. If they had left the shoes out, and their shoes were new, it would probably have caused Joshua and the princes to be suspicious. They covered most areas.
Have you ever been presented a proposal about a business with the supporting financial accounts? It looked good, you signed up and then find out what you had done.
Sometimes we get caught up in scams and insincere gimmicks because the bible says “to the pure all things are pure” (Titus 1; 15). When you relate to person that is crafty you assume they are pure because you are pure. You would not imagine anyone trying to con you, but unfortunately people deceiving others is a reality of life. This is why we need to be led by the spirit of truth who will guide us into ALL truth (John 16; 13). This is why we must pray about everything and ask the Lord for guidance.
Proverbs 3; 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
We cannot lean unto our own understanding. In this case “understanding of the evidence presented” which in this case was deception.
The reason Joshua and the princes fell victim to this was because “ they asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord” (Joshua 9; 14).
This is one reason why we go through unnecessary difficult times or find ourselves in unexpected challenging situations because we did not ask counsel from the Lord. Or we did, and thought that our own way was better.
The Lord is gracious and He is well able to redeem our mistakes depending on what it is. Once it is over, we need to learn and move on ensuring that we engage the Lord in everything that we do. He always has the best for us,
He wants us to invite Him into all our affairs of life.
Heavens agenda in any situation is several steps up higher than what we are thinking. Kevin Zadai.