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The Danger of Excluding God

13 Jul

No decision is wise if it’s made independently of God.  In Joshua 9, the people of Israel made a terrible decision because they left God out of their plans, and had to live with the consequences of a decision which God did not approve:

Decision and risk analysis“Now when all the kings west of the Jordan heard about these things – those in the hill country, in the western foothills, and along the entire coast of the Great Sea as far as Lebanon…came together to make war against Joshua and Israel.

“However, when the people of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They went as a delegation whose donkeys were loaded with worn-out sacks and old wineskins, cracked and mended.  The men put worn and patched sandals on their feet and wore old clothes.  All the bread of their food supply was dry and moldy.  Then they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant country; make a treaty with us.”

“The men of Israel said to the Hivites, “But perhaps you live near us.  How then can we make a treaty with you?” “We are your servants,” they said to Joshua. But Joshua asked, “Who are you and where do you come from?” They answered: “Your servants have come from a very distant country because of the fame of the Lord your God.  For we have heard reports of him: all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan…. And our elders and all those living in our country said to us, ‘Take provisions for your journey; go and meet them and say to them, “We are your servants; make a treaty with us.”’  This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you.  But now see how dry and moldy it is.  And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are.  And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.”

The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord.  Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. — Joshua 9:1-15, emphasis added

The Israelites gathered data (vv. 7-14), but they missed a crucial step in the process.  “The men of Israel…did not inquire of the Lord” (v. 14). 

Ronald Reagan is credited with saying, “America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety.  He is ours.  I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side.” 

If we assume that God is always on our side, we will fall headlong into foolishness. 

We should search ourselves regularly to make sure our thinking is in line with His will. 

We should strive to develop the character and conviction to make decisions that are products of our relationship with God.

 

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2014 in Sermon

 

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