Summary: Do you make mistakes? As long as we make decisions we will make mistakes. How does God view mistakes? How should we?
A young man came to a farm looking for work. So the farmer set him to the task immediately. He had a barn that needed painting. So the task was handed to the young man. The farmer said to himself that it would take at least three days to finish the task but in two days the young man had finished. The farmer was very pleased and showered the young man with praise.
He then give the young the task of plowing the field, expecting the job to be done in two weeks but to his surprise in one the task was completed. The farmer thought to himself at this rate the young man would soon be out of chores to do.
The farmer had recently harvested some potatoes and had them stored in the barn so he told the young man to sort them into piles:
- One pile for the good ones
- Another pile made of those which had began to sprout
- And a third consisting of those which were not good.
He expected the young man to finish in a few hours but at the end of the day the youngster was far from finished. The farmer was astonished and inquired of the young man what the problem was, after all for much bigger task he had finished with remarkable speed. Why was he taking so long for such a simple task?
The young replied that he had a problem deciding which potato should be placed in each pile.
We all make many decisions every day. And all of us have made decisions that we have regretted. No doubt we can all remember making bad decisions. Some decisions were serious while oth¬ers were not. One thing we do know we have to live with the consequences. How does God relate to us when we make bad decisions, or does he want us to make decisions at all?
Let’s turn in our bibles to Joshua 9 :1-6
¶And it came to pass, when all the kings which were on this side Jordan, in the hills, and in the valleys, and in all the coasts of the great sea over against Lebanon, the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard thereof; That they gathered themselves together, to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord. ¶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 9:1 - 6 (KJV)
Even while Israel had gathered to worship in Mount Ebal (Joshua 8:30), her enemies had gathered to plan an attack (verses 1, 2). While Israel was worshiping God and reviewing God’s law, the kings of Canaan rallied to form an alliance to meet the challenge of Israel’s invasion. Though all the kings gathered to form this military alliance, the Gibeonites de¬cided to pursue a different course of ac¬tion because "the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai" (verse 3).
The Gibeonites had heard the same reports as Rahab, but they reacted dif¬ferently. They had heard about Israel’s strength and may have even realized that the power of God was behind that strength. Rahab also heard about the God of Israel, but her heart was open to learn more of Him and worship Him. The Gibeonites’ knowledge led them to be afraid and to do everything they could to save their lives.
Instead of repenting, the Gibeon¬ites decided to deceive the Israelites (see verses 4-6). They wanted to deceive Josh¬ua about their origin in order for him to make a covenant with them.
The Word of God tells us in Eph. 6:12
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
What we witness here is an attempt by forces unseen to thwart God’s plans for the Israelites. The enemy does not always make frontal attacks. In fact here the enemy sets up Israel for a body shift. While focusing on the Kings assembling for war he creates his own counterattack to achieve his ends. He is a cunning foe, the bible calls him a wily foe and warns us to put on the whole armour of God that we might not be deceived by the wiles of the devil.