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Leaning on our own understanding

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14 Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. - Joshua 1:8

This became a real problem for Israel. They violated two of God's commands and they seemed not to even be aware that they were doing it.

These Hivites came from one of the sons of Canaan.

God had spoken to Moses as recorded in and gave him the list of those people groups that He wanted removed from the land that He was giving to the children of Israel. And, guess what, the Hivites were on that list.
The Lord instructed the Israelites to totally destroy every living thing in those towns and people groups mentioned.
Some versions refer to these deceivers as Gibeonites. Gibeon was one of four ancient cities of the Hivites.

Early mention

If you remember in , Shechem, a Hivite violated Jacob's daughter Dinah and the people were willing to intermarry with the Israelites in hopes of taking all of their wealth. They were not "good folk."

The men of Israel failed to follow the Lord's specific instructions given to Joshua.

This failure was contrary to the explicit instructions the Lord gave to Joshua concerning how to discern his will, that they should consult him, by going to Eleazar the priest, who would consult the Lord using the Urim (). The Israelites’ confirmation of the Gibeonites’ claim was purely in their own strength and on their own initiative. The mistake on Israel’s and Joshua’s part was not that they were deceived per se, but that they did not ask for the Lord’s counsel. This is certainly a warning to all who read this passage: God is there to be consulted, and we ignore him at our peril
Howard, D. M., Jr. (1998). Joshua (Vol. 5, p. 226). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

God's specific instructions to Joshua

21 When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”

Now, this decision seemed to be pretty easy, right?

1) They took them at their word which specified that they were from a far-away country
2) They had all the physical signs of being from a distant land. The scientific method would have confirmed all of this.
3) They even had their story straight as to what they had heard about the Israelites. All of the references were of events that happened during the time of Moses and they left out all the victories that Joshua led.

Now, what reason did God give to follow through with His commandments? (He is not required to give us reasons, you know)

- You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
The New King James Version. (1982). (Dt 7:2–4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


So, what things do we face that have the potential of turning us away from following Jesus?
Are there things, other than God, that we find ourselves serving or even having a strong affinity for?
How much do we rely on our own understanding when trying to discern between right and wrong; good and evil; liberty and sin?
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