|Backpacking through Joshua with Amber and friends.|
The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Joshua 9:14
The rejection letter came. As quickly as I could scan the contents, I delete it. Just as quickly, I retrieve it, reopen it and let my eyes rest on one word: Rejected.
The result: The inability to write for a few days. I am unable to hear His whisper until I recognize I’ve made a treaty with a foreigner. I’ve made peace with fear without even realizing it.
When I sample the world’s provision without inquiring of the Lord, I entertain my enemies. Rejection. Fear. Pride. Entitlement. Shame. Selfishness. Jealousy. Bitterness. Resentment. Isolation.
They come to me dressed as peacemakers, wolves in lambs’ clothing. They prey on my weaknesses. Pity. Insecurity. Secret sin. A mess soon follows. I wonder how can something so small and so innocent have such huge ramifications.
Something as mindless as sampling a bit of food offered without asking God’s opinion wreaks havoc in my life. If I don’t ask Him, how will I know His answer? This constant conversing becomes my lifeline. An intimate dialogue uninterrupted—except for the sampling.
Catch for us the foxes,
the little foxes
that ruin the vineyards,
our vineyards that are in bloom.
Song of Solomon 2:15 warns, pay attention to the little diversions threatening to derail purpose. If not caught and stopped, the little “foxes” in our lives cause ruin. Not only will be walking outside of God’s best for us, we will be walking independently of God Himself.
Joshua rushes into an alliance and well, sins. As a result, “The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders.” (Joshua 9:18)
I find chapter 9 a beautiful reminder to inquire of the Lord. How I wish I never sampled the food just there for the taking! I must remember to seek the Lord before each step and at every turn. I must ask for His eyes when I watch the little foxes frolic in the fields of my life instead of giggling at their playfulness and trying to make friends with them. I must ask for His discernment so I partake of His divine provision instead of the counterfeit offered by the enemy.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
PS I find it very convicting that although God commanded His people not to make treaties with the Canaanite nations in the first place, after the damage was done He required them to honor their word. I think of how many times in my own life I let someone else’s broken promise let me off the hook. Lord, let me be a woman of my word. Let me pray before I give it and pray as I keep it. May all my words be promises not only to those I offer them to but to You. Amen.