How to pray? Bible prayers.
Joshua mucked up by not praying . He basically authorized terrorists (Gibeonites) to live among the Israelites by failing to consult God before striking a deal. Lesson: To avoid failure, we ought to pray (the subject of my last post).
But I don’t want a downer. Who hasn’t tripped up? According to George Barna, approximately 100% of Americans fail significantly at some point in their life. Actually, I’m lying. That’s not a George Barna statistic. It’s a Rom. 3:23 statistic. And it’s experience. How many times have I failed? At least a zillon. And that’s just counting starting in 2013.
Here’s the takeaway to the bummer story. Joshua owned up to his mistakes and turned them into a winner. When fellow Canaanites realized the Gibeonites had “sold out” to the invading Israelites, they ganged up to lynch them. The Gibeonites, with a contract whose ink wasn’t even dry yet, cashed in on their new alliance and asked the Israelites to defend them. Joshua set aside his smarting and used his smarts: he vanquished all the other Canaanites. The Gibeonites had tricked him, but he used his embarrassment to his advantage.
God’s power promptly materialized. Not only did they utterly smash their enemies, the Israelites witnessed the third most extraordinary miracle confounding the laws of nature (#1 Jesus walked on water, #2 Moses separated the Red Sea): On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.” — Josh 10:12 NIV.
This gave them time to continue winning the war. The enemies couldn’t escape in the dark of night.
The upshot: prayer turns failures into successes!
How do I pray? Prayers from the Bible.
Before utter disaster is Joshua’s prayerlessness. Commanded specifically to NOT make a treaty with the Canaanites, the Israelite prince is quite flattered by the appearance of visitors who — apparently — come from far away to see the marvels of God. Even though he senses a red flag, he falls for their ruse (they wear old clothes in their caravan) and skips the step of prayer in his hurry to sign peace.
But the Israelites didn’t consult the Lord. — Josh. 9:14.
Thanks In My Melon blog
Think of getting all the Canaanites out of the Promised Land like the Homeland Security’s mission to clear America of potential terrorists. How many bomb-exploders do you want lurking in your neighborhood? But once they give their word, the Israelites have no choice but to let the Gibeonites live.
Can’t get motivated to pray? Think about averting disaster. Before you decide, pray. What consequence for not dispossessing the Canaanites of the land? The Israelites themselves were dispossessed of the land centuries later (in the captivities).
Our words retain far more power than we acknowledge. Consider the Gibeonites (Joshua 9), who through lies and deceit won a treaty with the conquering Israelites. God forbade the Israelites to enter treaty with any of the people in the Promised Land, so the Gibeonites pretended to be foreigners from far away. If this were the U.S., the contract would be null and void because of falsifications.
BUT, God obliged the Israelites to honor that treaty because they had sworn with their mouths. God’s concept of words is vastly different than our own. We think, “I’m just saying…” as if our words were nothing more than sound vibrations, the product of vocal chords, breath and mouth formations. But God sticks with words.
Think about the implications for prayer. Whatever you utter will be upheld by God. They spoke lies, yet the treaty was upheld. You pray with sincerity. Have no doubt your utterances will come to pass. It’s just a question of time, but faith should remain absolute. Obviously, the tongue is more powerful than we conceptualize.
Posted in prayer
Tagged Christianity, deceit, Faith, Gibeonites, God, honor, Joshua, lies, power, Promised Land, words