Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Church devotion: Making Better Decisions - Joshua 9:14

Joshua 9:14    The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.

Most of the serious mistakes that I make usually occur because I do not ask God what He thinks about my choices before I make a decision. I foolishly follow my own course and, like Rear Admiral Grace Hopper once said, if it turns out to be a bad choice, I ask for forgiveness later. You would think that my life experience by now would have shown me the folly of leaving God out of my major decisions. Regrettably, it still happens. I still make impulsive choices and end up looking to God to forgive me and mend the situation.

Today’s story from the Book of Joshua Chapter 9 describes an incident where the Israelites were deceived by the Gibeonites and completely taken in by their cunning plan. Instead of going to God for guidance, the Israelites believed the Gibeonites’ story and swore an oath not to harm them. It was a mistake that would have dire consequences for centuries on both communities. If the Israelites had consulted God, He would have told them about the deception and there would have been no peace treaty sworn between the peoples. However, because the Israelites made the treaty sacred by swearing an oath in God’s Name, they had to keep the agreement. To do otherwise would have been to discredit their own word, as well as profaning and dishonoring God.

Perhaps you are going through some critical times and face some serious issues. Maybe you need to make an important decision that will affect the rest of your life. Whatever it may be, take this from today’s lesson: sincerely ask God about it first and seek His guidance. He will help you find the necessary and effective solution.

Questions for personal reflection

Is there something that is weighing heavily on my mind? Have I truly asked God for His thoughts and guidance about it? When will I make time to do so?

Prayer:            Lord God, You see all that goes on in our lives and watch the ways that we take. Help us to put You at the center of our choices and decisions, especially when the consequences will be life changing. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask a question about today’s message, please send an email to Traqair@aol.com.

Today’s drawing is one of my popular Mackintosh type flower images. It’s called “Dragon-Eyed Dahlia.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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