Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday - Joshua 9 - Reminder: God Doth Not Upbraid

On the heels of their victories at Jericho and Ai, one might expect Joshua and the Jews to have been extremely cautious on their next encounter with the locals; to consult God carefully about their decisions. Surely the events surrounding those two conquests were enough to show them that they needed God's wisdom, direction and power, right? And, wisdom was specifically what the nation needed when they came into contact with the inhabitants of Gibeon. But, regrettably, they didn't seek God's face for a healthy dose of discernment.

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5).  What would it mean if God were to "upbraid" us? The word translated "upbraid" in James 1:5 is translated "reproach, revile, cast in his teeth and suffer reproach" elsewhere in the Authorized Version. That is, James 1:5 says that God won't "disgrace, embarrass, scold, rebuke or criticize" those of us who come to Him admitting that we don't know what to do and that we want His help. God is willing to give us a measure of what He gave to Solomon. So if we ever act in a foolish, naive or gullible manner, it is our own fault.

The people of Gibeon were wise in their own way (Luke 16:8). They saw that they were doomed and so they looked for a way to make peace (Luke 14:31 & 32).  They were wily and creative, and it worked.

They pretended to be from a faraway place when they were actually nearby. The quandary is that God had told Joshua not to make treaties with the people of the land, but instead to exterminate them. So, this was a problem. God said as much in the record in verse 14: "The men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD."

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