With a brand new year now upon us, the challenges of 2017 lie ahead. Some of us already have plans for things we hope to do and achieve this year.. but how should we approach the new year as sons and daughters of the living God?
To answer that question I want to travel back to an event in the lives of the people of God many years ago.
Moses has just led the Israelites out of the desert to the promised land. Joshua has now taken over and miraculously crossed the Jordan River, then with divine intervention, brought down the walls of Jericho, one of the most powerful cities in the new land.
The way ahead looked very hopeful, they will take the land God has promised them.
Then they are approached by a group of people who say they want to make a treaty with them. But God had told the Israelites to destroy the people of the land they were entering, however this group say they are from a far off land, that they have heard about the Israelites by reputation and have traveled many, many miles to see them. The condition of their clothes, their worn out sandals and their dry moldy food all lend credence to their story. Joshua has just come from a major victory and at this point he makes a big mistake… The bible says that “The men of Israel sampled their (the Gibeonites) provisions but did not inquire of the LORD” Joshua 9:14
There seemed no need to check this out with God, the evidence before them substantiated the Gibeonite story, and it was sort of flattering to think that this group of people had traveled so far to make peace with them. So Joshua makes a treaty with them. It was a big mistake! The Gibeonites were in fact their neighbors and from then on were a constant thorn in their sides. He should never have made that treaty, and now he must honor it.
As we face the challenges and possibilities of 2017, we need to take time to commit our plans to God. Not everything that looks good on the surface is. Take time this year to pray to God about the things you have planned for the New Year. Let the words of this proverb be true for us as we go into 2017.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and do not lean on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6