“They did not ask counsel of the Lord” Joshua 9:14
Before any one points the finger at Joshua and the other rulers of Israel we would do well to look at ourselves first.
Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Head of the church has been made more like the Queen of England. The people make the decisions and then ask the Queen to sign off on them. We are in danger of living our lives like that both individually and corporately. We make our plans and then ask Jesus to bless them. Anyone who thinks about this for even a few moments will see how preposterous that is. Jesus is made to be our servant existing for our benefit to do our will. What an abomination that is! He will have no part in it.
When Joshua approached Ai he consulted his leaders and they sent spies ahead, as they did with Jericho, and on receiving their report made the decision to send a modest but sufficient army against Ai. The size of the force was inconsequential; they had not first met the Lord, their Commander in Chief.
When the Gibeonites came to Joshua with their lie hidden amongst plenty of truth, though initially suspicious, Joshua and the rulers believed the lie. They thought they knew all the facts and they thought they were wise enough to make a correct assessment and response without asking the Lord.
Joshua and Israel’s rulers acted just as we do. Being wise in our own eyes we do not “ask counsel of the Lord.” The consequences of not asking counsel of the Lord can have long lasting devastating effects even for many generations.
At the commencement of a meeting we may ask the Lord’s blessing much as we sing the National Anthem at a significant event. We may even thank the Lord at the end as we presume He had some influence but in between He is relegated to the role of figurehead who only has to sign off on what we have decided.
Again, before we point fingers, we all do this and it is a gross shame to our Lord. There is a remedy as Paul writes, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 7:24-25.
Paul also writes, “He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church” Colossians 1:17-18.
Jesus Christ is the active Head of the church not a powerless figurehead so let us humble ourselves before Him, not asking Him to bless our plans but to genuinely come to Him for His will that we might truly serve Him.