So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Joshua 9:14
My husband always says that someday he wants to write a book entitled, The Buts of the Bible.
Not butts, but buts!
There are so many of them, and that little four-letter word (buts) says oh so much. In my Bible, I often circle the word, BUT when I come across it. I see the word BUT as a signal to pay attention because sometimes BUT comes before a missed opportunity or a wisely embraced one.
We find one example of this in the story of Noah and the great flood. Great destruction was about to take place on the earth, but Scripture tells us- “BUT Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.” Ahhh, that BUT was heralding good news, at least for Noah and his family!
Or how about in Genesis when Joseph said to his brothers, “You meant it for evil, BUT God meant it for good.” What came after that BUT was meant to bring a whole lot of much-needed peace to a family which had been torn apart by a grievous sin.
In Joshua 9:14, we see a BUT that describes a sadly missed opportunity to display faith. Joshua and the people of Israel were in the process of taking the promised land. They had seen some success and the occupying people of the region were scared! They had heard all about Israel’s God. And so, these fearful current inhabitants decided a little deception was in order.
They came to the Israelites in old clothes with old wineskins and crusty old bread. We have come from far away, they said, and we want to be your servants, so please make a promise not to hurt any of our people. (my paraphrase). So, Joshua and the people inspected the bread and wineskins, and yes, they did seem old; it seemed they were telling the truth. Joshua and his followers thought, these travelers must have come from a long way away. But here is where our verse fits into the story, “BUT they did not consult the Lord.” OUCH!
What a mistake! A missed opportunity to be faithful. These people, who had traveled through the wilderness with the Lord himself as their guide, did not consult the Lord for wisdom. Left to their own devices, they made a grave error. One that cost them an awful lot.
Maybe you are like me and, at times, move full steam ahead without consulting the Lord? Maybe you choose your human wisdom over the godly wisdom God offers?
This story is such a great reminder that we need to take a moment during those times of life when a decision has to be made and ask the one who knows all things. And not just to ask but to wait for the answer.
This week, when you have a choice to make, ask for wisdom from the one who knows the best answer to give.