Kathleen called me on my cell phone. “Dan, I think Mel was run over . . .” Mel, short for Melbourne, is our Siamese mix cat well-beloved in the York household. So on my way home I deviated from the normal route and sure enough, found him lying beside the sidewalk just a block from our home. I walked down to where he lay and noticed the blood trail running from the center of the road. I was surprised because Mel is rather skittish and I’d never known him to cross the busy road in front of our home. I figured something spooked him and he ran out into the road and was hit.
Bryan and I gathered him, placed him in a bag and then I buried him in our backyard. Later that evening, Kathleen called me into the cave, our windowless computer room, to look at a touching movie Stephen put together. As Kathleen, Sarah, Stephen and I watched the pictures of our cat against the backdrop of a sad song, in walked Mel! We all whooped and hollered and of course wondered how he could be alive. The cat I buried had no collar (like Mel), looked about the same size and weight as Mel, died close to our house but obviously was not Mel. Come to think of it as I look at him closely, Mel’s fur is quite a bit darker.
Joshua 9:14,15—So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. (NLT)
The Gibeonites lived in Canaan and were part of the wicked civilization God targeted for destruction. They heard what the Israelites had already done to Jericho and Ai and they knew that God commanded Moses to destroy them. Their cities were in the path of imminent attack. Cleverly they sent ambassadors to Joshua, wearing ragged clothes, patched sandals and carrying badly worn gear and dry, moldy bread. They deceived Israel into thinking they were from a distant land traveling far to make a peace treaty.
As we see in the passage above, Joshua and the elders assumed after inspecting the delegation and sampling their provisions, that they were telling the truth. They did not ask God for His wisdom. Consequently, they obligated themselves to assimilate and protect the Gibeonites contrary to His explicit instructions.
Sometimes making wrong assumptions can turn out positively as in the case of Mel (with apologies to the owners of the cat that died). But in matters that involve obeying God, we should be adept at seeking His wisdom. Whenever in doubt or faced with making an important decision don’t cut God out of the equation. Ask Him for His advice. James 1:5 says, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.” The only condition that God places on this promise is that we must have faith! If we don’t believe James says we won’t receive anything from the Lord. So don’t make poor decisions on the basis of faulty assumptions—ask God for help and trust in the answer He gives you when He chooses to give it . . . something to think about in reveration!
We can never rest on the assumption that “Now I am saved and sanctified, all I choose and think is sure to be right.”—Oswald Chambers in Not Knowing Where
©2006 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)