Scripture: Joshua 9:1-27
Observation: When the Gibeonites heard how the Israelites defeated Ai and took Jericho, they deceived the people, convincing the Israelites they were from a foreign land and sent to be their servants. Without consulting the Lord, Joshua entered into a peace treaty with them. When they found out they had been deceived, the people became frustrated with the Israelite leaders. Although an unpopular choice, Joshua and his leadership team decided they would uphold the treaty and wouldn’t allow the people to harm the Gibeonites.
Application: Have you ever made a decision that other people didn’t agree with?
I can think of at least ten decisions I’ve made in the past 24 hours that someone didn’t agree with… and if that pattern holds, that means I make at least 70 decisions a week someone disagrees with.
Seventy in a single week!
Somebody call "Code Blue" because this people-pleaser just had a mild heart attack.
(P.S. I have no idea what code you actually call when someone has a heart attack. I just watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy. #guiltypleasure)
We all have to make a lot of decisions, and if we’re in a leadership role of any kind, we have to make even more. (And yes, being a mom totally counts as a leadership role.) It’s easy to get decision fatigue, to let doubt creep in – especially when you realize you’ve made the wrong decision.
That’s Joshua in this moment. He’s been making decisions every minute of every day, leading the Israelite people across rivers, through battles, and into the Promised Land. Maybe it’s decision fatigue or maybe it’s a moment of poor judgment, but Joshua makes a bad decision that leads to a really bad decision: he doesn’t consult the Lord. (PS -- You think he would have learned this by now... take a look at Chapter 8 again.)
When the Gibeonites come to the Israelites claiming to be foreigners sent to be their servants, Joshua listens to them, and then:
“So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. [Bad decision numero uno] Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety… [Cue bad decision numero dos]” (v. 14-15)
One bad decision led to another – which, in theory, could have led to another and another and another… and, well, you catch my drift.
But in a moment of courage, Joshua stopped the pattern.
When the people of Israel grumbled against the leaders because of the treaty, Joshua had a decision to make – would he do what was popular or would he do what was right?
“’This is what we must do. We must let them live, for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath.’” (v.20)
He chose right over well liked. He broke the bad decision pattern.
In the hardest moments of your life, do you choose right or do you choose well liked? Do you let a few bad decisions become a lifetime of bad decisions or do you gather the courage to stop the pattern?
Ask for the courage to choose right over well liked.
Prayer: God, I pray for wisdom and for courage to make the right decisions – even when they’re uncomfortable or unpopular. I pray I will make my decisions based out of devotion to you. Amen.