Interesting text I have chosen this day, one from the book of Joshua,
- “So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD.” (Joshua 9:14 – NASB)
As I read this text and consider the context in which it is written, there is warning to us regarding the making of decisions and failing to seek “the counsel of the Lord.” It is a principle for us set forth in Scripture that transcends time, given to nations and to individuals. It is certainly a notable principle for we who are disciples of Christ.
The Israelites had been instructed to destroy the inhabitants of the land that God promised them. They would be the instrument God would use to bring His judgment on those who had existed in outright rebellion to Him. The Hivites, living in nearby Gibeon, sensed their doom. So they conceived a plan by which to trick the Israelites into not destroying them. They pretended to be a people from a foreign land that desired peace with this mighty nation of Israel and in turn Israel, who did not “ask for the counsel of the LORD,” made peace with them. This whole incident would prove to be most detrimental to Israel’s well being down the road.
As Christians, we are not called to destroy our unsaved neighbors (but note II Corinthians 10: 4-5; this is what we are called to do). In today’s world we intermingle with godless people in all kinds of different environments. We live in a time when the church is being constructed by the Holy Spirit in the midst of a world of that is predominately made up of non-believers.
What we can take from the principle laid out for us in Joshua, chapter nine, is that we need to always “ask for the counsel of the Lord” as we make choices in our intermingling with an unsaved populace. We need to seek His “counsel” when faced with their attempts to have us join in with their ungodly behaviors, their ungodly beliefs, and their ungodly practices. As “children of God,” we are to diligently seek the “counsel of the Lord” in our relationships as well as our religious service. To the Corinthians, and to us, Paul wrote,
- “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? . . . Therefore, ‘come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord.” (II Corinthians 6:14, 17 – NASB)
See! . . . This is the “counsel of the Lord!” This “counsel” clearly tells us not to yoke (the Greek word for “bound” means, “unequally yoked”) ourselves with those who practice “lawlessness,” with those who are “darkness,” and operate in “darkness,” away from the “light” of God and His Word.
A failing of Israel is that they did not “ask the counsel of the LORD” and the Hivites would prove to be a bad choice in friends, a bad choice in someone who would mingle with them and would in effect, not provide “counsel” that was in keeping with the law of God. We need to be careful to heed the Scriptural warning and not make the same mistake when it comes to our choosing of friends or, for that matter, the choosing of those who instruct our children. Ungodly teachers and counselors can have a devastating effect on children, on young people, just as binding with the ungodly can have a very negative impact on a believer.
Have a good day brethren . . . and as you walk, as you go about making life’s decisions, even in choosing your friends, do not fail to ask the counsel of the Lord.
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