Things are looking pretty good for Joshua and the people.
The river crossing built faith.
They walked around Jericho.
The walls fell in, and the men were able to go in and take the city.
They're feeling pretty good about God--and themselves.
It's almost like they can't lose.
And so here come these tired, worn-out travelers to honor them, to beg for a treaty. There doesn't seem to be any reason not to make a treaty with them.
And so they shake hands.
But they don't "inquire of the Lord."
The thing is, God knew things Joshua and the people didn't know. God knew the travelers were lying, that they actually lived nearby. God knew, and they didn't. And if they had only asked God for his advice, they could have saved themselves some trouble down the road.
Sigh. How many times have I done the same thing? Something seems like a good idea, but I don't seek counsel, from God or from godly people, who know things I don't know. (I know that part's not in the passage, but I'm adding it because sometimes God speaks to us through godly people who have gone before us.)
God delivered Joshua and the people from their error, once again demonstrating that their victories were HIS victories. They're just along for the ride.
Lately I've been forgetting that truth. I started the teaching semester asking God for wisdom every single day. And then I got comfortable and stopped asking. Yesterday he reminded me to ask. I need God. I need God when I'm teaching, when I'm writing, when I'm in class, when I'm at work, when I'm with my family.
My victories are God's victories.
I want to rely on his wisdom and not my own.