So the men of Israel took some of their provisions, and did not ask for the counsel of the LORD. Joshua 9:14
Not Ask – It seemed like an open and shut case. Here comes a group of men ready to make a deal. They look like the right people. They talk like the right people. There is every advantage to making the deal. So, the men of Israel go ahead. They act on what they see. But they forgot the only thing that matters, for what you see is not always what you get. They forgot to ask God what He wanted in this deal. And the results were disastrous, not just for those men who made the deal, but for generations to come. You see, the deal that they made bound them to a promise not to get rid of the presence of unbelief in the middle of their land. They were tricked, but it was too late. It wasn’t the trick that caused the problem. The problem came when they didn’t think God had anything to say about such an obviously good thing.
The word is sha’al. It is used over and over to describe people who beseech or ask from God. Obviously, it is also used to describe situations when men do not ask. The lesson here is that there is not a single thing that God is not interested in. But just like the men of Israel, we often think that God gives us license to just go ahead with the obvious without checking for divine due diligence. We let our common sense and personal inclinations dictate our actions – and usually we regret it. God’s way is the only right way. His wisdom is the only real wisdom.
That brings up a very interesting question. If we know that God is interested in all that we do, and we know that His opinion is the only one that matters, then why don’t we ask Him about everything? The answer reveals something deep about the human heart. Ultimately, we all want to make our own choices. We want God’s advice, not His command. We believe that most of the time we are just fine doing it our way. We even sanctify this idea, claiming that as long as it is in alignment with God’s word, it is God’s will. But underneath it all, we want it our way. So, we don’t ask, pretending that if we don’t know what God wants, then we are somehow excused. What this really reveals is the essential rebellious nature of our existence. We want forgiveness from sins – behaviors – but we don’t really want to relinquish rebellion – strategy and attitude. Just like the men of Israel, we have forgotten that a single, tiny mistake made without consultation with the Most High has long-term disastrous consequences.
Today the question is really very simple: Are you asking?