The Gibeonites are afraid that the Israelites will come and destroy them. They have good reason to believe that. They trick Joshua by saying they are from a distant country and ask for a covenant of peace. Joshua makes a covenant with them, and then later finds out they were living in Canaan, in the land that was supposed to belong to Israel. Joshua keeps his word and makes them servants of Israel instead of destroying them.
The Gibeonites put on a whole act to prove they are from far away and Joshua falls for it, because, as the Bible points out, he didn’t seek the counsel of the Lord.
The Israelites didn’t ask God if this was a good idea. Even if these travelers had been from far away, maybe it wouldn’t have been a good idea for the Israelites to make an agreement with them.
There are big and little decisions that we make. We shouldn’t enter into contracts without seeking the Lord’s counsel. For example, you certainly shouldn’t enter into a covenant like marriage, a covenant that lasts for the rest of your life, without seeking the Lord’s counsel. He knows things you don’t, things you couldn’t know, like the future and hidden motives.
We acknowledge that having God’s counsel is a good idea, so why don’t we stop and seek it? What makes us act on our own understanding instead of asking for help? One, we think we have understanding. A certain course of action can seem obvious, logical, smart. Two, seeking God takes time and effort. Sometimes, it can just be a few seconds, sure. If you are walking with God and used to being in conversation with Him, and He’s wanting to answer right away, that’s all it might take.
But, here’s the kicker. If God’s not ready to give the answer, not because He doesn’t know but because it’s not the right time, for His good and perfect reasons, then we have to wait. Then we start to question if we can hear God or if He’s ever going to answer and having the answer feels urgent and deadlines approach and we feel like we have to move on without Him. That’s why the command in Psalm 27 to wait on the Lord comes with another command, “Be of good courage.” Are you willing to be courageous and take the time to seek and to wait?