Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you…” Matthew 24:4 NLT
Always trust God, be careful when you trust a politician
But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, they on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended, with worn-out, patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes. And all their provisions were dry and crumbly. And they went to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a distant country, so now make a covenant with us.” JOSHUA 9:3-6 ESV
And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light. LUKE 16:8 NLT
If history teaches us anything, it’s that we should never trust politicians.
Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. JOHN 14:1 NLT
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. HEBREWS 6:18 NLT
Ask politicians the tough questions
Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1 NLT
Jesus repeated the question… JOHN 21:16 NLT
But the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you live among us; then how can we make a covenant with you?” They said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you? And where do you come from?” They said to him, “From a very distant country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God. For we have heard a report of him, and all that he did in Egypt, and all that he did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon the king of Heshbon, and to Og king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth. JOSHUA 9:7-10 ESV
Never rush your decision
To make rash, hasty decisions shows that you are not trusting the Lord. But when you rely totally on God, you will still act carefully and prudently PROVERBS 28:25 TPT
(Read the article Pastor Matt references at www.move.sc/article)
So our elders and all the inhabitants of our country said to us, ‘Take provisions in your hand for the journey and go to meet them and say to them, “We are your servants. Come now, make a covenant with us.”’ Here is our bread. It was still warm when we took it from our houses as our food for the journey on the day we set out to come to you, but now, behold, it is dry and crumbly. These wineskins were new when we filled them, and behold, they have burst. And these garments and sandals of ours are worn out from the very long journey.” JOSHUA 9:11-13 ESV
Ask God for wisdom before you decide
Let no one deceive you with empty words… EPHESIANS 5:6 ESV
So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them. JOSHUA 9:14-15 ESV
How Americans choose a president:
- Candidate’s perceived personality
- Party identification
- Friends and close relationships’ preference
- Happiness of person voting
- Performance of candidate
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice. LUKE 23:34 NLT
Investigate how my vote affects other people’s futures
At the end of three days after they had made a covenant with them, they heard that they were their neighbors and that they lived among them. And the people of Israel set out and reached their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath-jearim. But the people of Israel did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. Then all the congregation murmured against the leaders. But all the leaders said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them. This we will do to them: let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath that we swore to them.” JOSHUA 9:16-20 ESV
Personal Reflection Guide
Find a quiet place and allow yourself to become calm. When you sense you are ready, invite God into this time. Think about the sermon and how to make wise decisions. Ask God to help you recall a recent important decision you have made. Ask yourself, “What principles of wise decision-making did I follow? How could I have better ensured a wise decision?” Think of another important decision you need to make soon. What feelings come up as you reflect on this decision? What do they reveal about what you trust to be true? Ask God, “Is what I trust in the truth? What is an experience I have had that helps me make this decision?” Have a conversation with God about how to avoid a foolish decision and to use the experience you recalled to help you make a wise one this time. Pray for him to guide you in making this decision by relying on his promise, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you” (James 1:5 NLT). After you make this decision, thank him for the wisdom he gave you.
- What have you been learning about yourself, God or others in your personal Bible reading time? What stood out to you this week?
- Read Joshua 9:3-6. When have you been fooled or misled in a meaningful way and in what ways do you still feel it’s effect today?
- Continue reading Joshua 9:7-10. In what ways have you seen good questions protect you or someone in your life from being fooled or misled?
- Continue reading Joshua 9:11-13. As you think about the problems in your life right now, what questions are you afraid to ask (or what person are you afraid to ask) out of fear of what you might find? What do you need to do about it?
- Continue reading Joshua 9:14-15. When have you made a big (or little) decision without asking God for wisdom and what happened as a result?
- Continue reading Joshua 9:16-20. As you think about the consequences the Isrealites experienced when they didn’t consult God, what big decisions are you facing right now that we can help pray you through?