After Joshua took over leadership of the children of Israel from Moses, he led them into major victories — notably, Jericho and Ai. As God performed many astounding miracles for the Israelites, Joshua’s leadership was flawless with the exception of one very bad judgment. The crafty Gibeonites connived and manipulated him into making a decision without consulting God about it (see Joshua 9:3-13). “Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord. So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them” (Joshua 9:14-15).
Joshua was compelled to honor the covenant he had made and the consequences were dire. The Israelites went into battle against the Amorites, but Joshua’s warriors needed more daylight in order to defeat their enemy. Joshua prayed to God and received a miracle that is unparalleled to this day — the sun stood still! “There has never been a day before and there has never been a day since when the Lord stopped the sun, all because of the prayer of one man” (Joshua 10:14).
Many of us have made hasty decisions without consulting the wisdom of the Lord. That is why God urges us: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5). The Word also says, “It is not good for a man to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet misses his way” (Proverbs 19:2).
So, in chapter 9 Joshua makes a covenant without praying but then in chapter 10 he cries out to God and God answers in spectacular fashion. Why? Because Joshua invited his Father into his bad decision and God had mercy on him and intervened.
God will do the same for you. He will take your bad choices and turn them into something miraculous if you will turn to him and seek his face. If you are being rushed into making a decision, be sure to rush into the presence of God first.
Pastor Tim pastored an inner-city congregation in Detroit for thirty years before serving at Brooklyn Tabernacle in NYC for five years. He and his wife Cindy presently pastor in Lafayette, Louisiana.