The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
"The Old and the Moldy"
"And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, they did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up, and old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us" (Joshua 9:3-6).
Old and moldy sacks, bottles, shoes, and clothes fooled Joshua and the nation of Israel. The rest of the story chronicles Gibeon conning Israel into "a league with us," ultimately becoming servants of the Jews, but also being survivors with the Jews. While we acknowledge the Gibeonites as a cunning people, Scripture reveals a more telling reason the Israelites fell victim to trickery.
"And the men took of their victuals, and asked not counsel at the mouth of the LORD" (Joshua 9:14).
No more prevalent promise of the Bible exists than the assurance of guidance for those who look to God and His light. "For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." (Proverbs 2:6). Sadly, however, no more prevalent error of humanity exists than our being fooled by the old and the moldy, as it were, rather than seeking counsel of the Lord. "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
Request, reading, and relationship prepare us to be led by the Spirit into good decision making. First, we must prayerfully ask our Heavenly Father to guide us along the pathways of our lives. This involves both the general - "Lead me in this day, Father" - and often the specific - "Lead me in this particular way, Father." We also place our hearts and minds in readiness for God's guidance by regularly reading His Word. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). Finally, we expect help from fellow believers regarding the Lord's leadership, being guided by the example of our brothers and sisters, and sometimes seeking their counsel regarding important decisions. "In the multitude of counselors there is safety" (Proverbs 11:14).
The old and the moldy can be convincing. Appearances can deceive. Thus, we seek the counsel of the Lord, as expressed through His promise to lead us in good decision making as we look to Him and avail ourselves of the navigational tools He provides. We close with the well known and rightly beloved words of Solomon that assure the trusting heart of guidance along the pathways of our lives…
"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
"We also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you."
(II Corinthians 13:4)