There’s a passage in the Book of Joshua where the Israelites are making headway in settling the Promised Land. God continues to give them victory after victory.
Word about what God is doing for his people spreads. Many of the nations occupying the Promised Land try to fight the Israelites but end up being defeated.
When the Gibeonites learn of this, they decide to try something different. Instead of marching out to wage war against Israel, they decide to pull a fast one. They send emissaries to the Israelites disguised as foreigners in order to make a peace treaty with them.
Where Decisions Go Wrong
God had warned the Israelites not to make any treaties with the people living in the land so that, according to Deuteronomy 20:18 (GWT), “…teach you to do all the disgusting things they do for their gods…” (bestiality, child sacrifice, etc). After Joshua and the leaders of Israel questioned them, they met to decide what to do. What they did next is what many of us foolishly do:
“So the Israelites examined their food, but they did not consult the Lord. Then Joshua made a peace treaty with them and guaranteed their safety, and the leaders of the community ratified their agreement with a binding oath. Three days after making the treaty, they learned that these people actually lived nearby!” – Joshua 9:14-16 (NLT)
When Joshua and the Israelites found out they were furious. Can you blame them?
If you read the rest of chapter nine you’ll discover the Israelites wanted to get out of their treaty, but it was too late. They were locked in. The Gibeonites continued to be enemies of Israel for hundreds of years, causing a lot of pain and hardship.
It’s easy to look at this passage and think, “How could the Israelites have made such a bone-headed mistake? If they had just taken the time to pray about it they could have avoided this whole mess! Why didn’t they ask God about it before they made their decision?”
I’ve made this mistake on more than a few occasions. I’ve rushed into a decision without asking God about it. I thought I knew what I was doing, only to have it blow-up in my face later. While I wouldn’t have said it this way at the time, I basically thought I didn’t need God. Can you relate?
How to Make Better Decisions
We’ve all had moments when we rushed into a decision. We either allowed ourselves to get too busy, too distracted, or too full of ourselves to ask God about it.
When you face an important choice, ask God what you should do about it before you make a decision on it. (Tweet That)
Much of the pain we experience in life we bring on ourselves because of our own poor decisions. Many of those decisions could have been avoided if we simply had taken the time to ask God about it. James 1:5 (NCV) says, “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you.”
When you find yourself facing an important decision, whether it’s to take that job offer, ask so-and-so out on a date, resolve a conflict, improve your family life or determining how to move forward on that big project at work ask God what you should do about it before you make a decision on it.
You might just save yourself a world of regret.