A.W. Tozer said, “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” Tozer knew how powerful and profitable time in God’s Word is, and therefore knew what was at stake if he let his time in it get crowded out by the other activities of his day.
Wisdom for Today by Chuck Smith (The daily devotional I use and love!)
You see, Joshua had been faithful to seek God’s counsel, and heed it, at the Jordan River as well as the taking of Jericho and Ai. Because of it, God’s people were victorious, and their fame spread throughout the Promised Land to the other territories they would go into conquer next. So the Gibeonites, who probably were next on the hit list, since they lived so close to the camp of Israel, came to Joshua in rags and pretended to be foreigners from far away. They certainly looked the part. (Joshua 9:3-5)
On the surface, their story appeared believable. (Joshua 9:9-13) However, when they propositioned Joshua to make a covenant with them, Joshua just took their word for it that they were being honest and didn’t seek God’s insight and counsel about these people. Had Joshua did, God would have told him “These people are your enemies who live nearby. Don’t be deceived by them. Certainly don’t make a covenant with them.” I wonder how much trouble I create for myself, and would be spared, if I just make it a point to first seek God’s counsel on a matter instead of assuming something is a no-brainer and just going ahead with a decision based on the facts in front of me as I know them to be.
After making the covenant with his neighboring enemies, the Gibeonites, Joshua learned an important lesson that day. No matter how victorious we may be, we still need God to weigh in with how He sees the situation, and seek His counsel on what we ought to do. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Sure seeking Him, may delay us from making snap decisions in our busy lives, but given the choice, I’d rather be delayed and make the right decision than to make a decision based on appearances, and suffer the consequences. Consider the different decision Eve may have made in the Garden of Eden had she checked in with God first about the words the serpent spoke to her, instead of simply taking the word of the serpent as Joshua did of the Gibeonites.
As A.W. Tozer said, “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” Being that the Bible is God’s Word, Joshua and Eve’s enemy were leaning on their own understanding (Prov. 3:5-6) rather than first going to God and asking Him to reveal the situation to them as He sees it, not as they saw it. May we not repeat these mistakes, esteeming anyone’s words over those from God, and failing to check in with God first, even when the outcome of a decision appears harmless.
As we are faithful to go to God with the things we are faced with, He will certainly be faithful to reveal that which we need to know, that we otherwise would have missed without His counsel. So what are you facing today that you could use some counsel on? What does God say, though His Word, to do or avoid regarding your situation? (James 1:5) Whatever we are facing, whatever decisions we must make, whatever we may need, the Bible has all that we need in our time of need.
Question for you: How do you guard yourself from leaning on your own understanding, so you do not create otherwise avoidable problems for yourself?
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