Walking by Sight Instead of by Faith

Steven VanderMolen

READ : Joshua 9:3-27

It’s difficult not to admire the Gibeonites. What would you have done in their place? They were residents of Canaan, in the terrifying line of Israel’s march. They had heard of the destruction of Jericho and Ai and were afraid. They resorted to deception since they would not be able to stand against Israel’s might. Theirs was an effective ruse: through a lie, they tricked Israel’s leaders into making a treaty with them. But did you notice verse 14? “The men of Israel . . . did not inquire of the Lord.” The Israelites trusted their own understanding and they did not consult the Lord. It took three days to discover their error, but a lifetime to live with it.

If we fail to consult the Lord in matters of importance, we, too, must live with the consequences. Certainly God will forgive us when we sin against Him, but the consequences of that action must often be lived with indefinitely. Consider when a Christian marries someone without searching out God’s will in the decision. Frequently the decision is not God’s choice for him or her and the usual outcome is a marriage filled with hurt, conflict and unhappiness. The consequences of making bad choices can have life-long implications. Remember that “we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor.5:7).

PRAYER

Gracious God, give us strength and wisdom so we won’t be deceived and therefore avoid painful consequences. Give us discernment and wisdom in all our choices. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.