When we make decisions, do we always put it at the back of our minds that there may be consequences? As Christians do we bring God into our decision making process? We ought to walk by faith and not by what we see. Joshua and the Israelites made that error when the Gibeonites disguise as coming from a far country whereas they were their neighbours. In Joshua 9:12,14-15 we are told: This bread was hot from the oven when we left our homes. But now, as you can see, it is dry and moldy. 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 (NLT).
Often we enter marriage covenants, pursue business ideas with vigor, or engage in a career based solely on the outward appearance of a person, how much profits we will make or the prestige attributed to the career we intend to pursue respectively without consulting God. And so often to our own detriment.
The equation will always be incomplete unless we bring God into our decision making process. When Joshua eventually found out the deceit of the Gibeonites, it was too late to reverse it. Do we enter covenants solely on what is visibly seen or do we consult God first?
The decisions we make carry consequences. They may not be immediate but eventually they surface. The leaders in Joshua's day refused to kill or even harm the Gibeonites "for divine anger would come upon us if we broke our oath" (Joshua 9:20).
In 2 Samuel 21:1 Israel under the rulership of David suffered famine for three long years without knowing why. Then David did what Joshua and his men should have done hundreds of years ago-he consulted God. It was then he realized that divine anger was unleashed on them because King Saul broke the covenant Joshua made by killing the Gibeonites. It was a decision that carried with it grievous consequence for the people of God.
Our parents, ancestors or forebears may have taken decisions and entered covenants on our behalf long before we were given birth to. And such covenants may be working against us. They may be patterns we observe in our families. It could be late marriages, early death, educational peak not exceeding a certain level even where the financial resource to further is there, barrenness, instability in our career, or a lack of career progression.
We can better our lives by bringing God into our struggles (about the best decision we will ever make concerning our troubles). But how do we go about correcting mistakes of the past?
We cannot build anything new based on the old foundation that has been raised. Any altar raised not in the name of the Lord must be completely destroyed. Like Elijah the prophet, we must build our own altar anew.
In Jeremiah 1:10, God gave us the authority to root out anything built in contravention to His counsel and to build what will last. This is not saying you must dissolve the marriage. These battles need to be fought and won in the spiritual realm. Then as the enemy's altars are burned down to the ground, we begin to erect edifices and put in place structures to the glory of the Lord.
May God grant us the wisdom we need to enter right covenants. And where we have already entered wrong ones, or was entered on our behalf, God should give us the grace to break them and build new ones on Christ the solid Rock so that our lives can be refreshed and made beautiful again.