Many times we wonder why things happen the way they do in our lives. We pray for someone to be healed and they don’t or there is a delay in getting a certain breakthrough. Yes, many good things are delayed or don’t happen because we are not doing the works of Jesus or because we aren’t accessing the things Jesus paid for on the cross and we are ignorant of them or blinded from seeing them. Because we humans are not machines, computers or a fine Swiss watch, we can be impulsive, unreliable and unpredictable. We also can be deceived.
We don’t necessarily do the same things every minute of every day and the Fall causes us to have our spiritual senses clouded unless we get help from God. We live in frail bodies of dust, the Psalmist says. But as we digest more and more of His Word and allow the Holy Spirit to change us, we can begin to see things less from our point of view and scratch the surface of seeing a bigger picture, realizing the awesome wisdom of God.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8&9
One story in scripture clearly illustrates the exacting nature of God and the high value God places on keeping a covenant or agreement and how it would affect the future. Israel knew God was as good as His Word, His promises and His covenant. God also expected His people to be people of integrity and to be faithful to commitments made and the word or promise given. God speaks no word without value.
The story begins in Joshua 9 after the fall of Jericho and Ai. These two conquests put the fear of Israel and their God into the people west of Jordan so the kings there formed an alliance to fight them. But the Gibeonites didn’t. They posed as people coming from a far distance and disguised themselves in old worn clothing with moldy bread & cracked wineskins, pretending to come from far away, asking to make a pact with Israel so they wouldn’t be attacked.
”The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord”. – Joshua 9:14
So they made a pact with them. Three days later it was discovered the Gibeonites deceived them:
“This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them. They continued, Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers in the service of the whole assembly”. Joshua 9:20,21
So we see the fear of God Israel had toward breaking a pact with anyone, regardless of whether they were deceptive or not.
Fast forward three hundred years…
“During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the Lord. The Lord said, ‘It is on account of Saul and his blood- stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death’. – II Samuel 21:1
So David goes to the Gibeonites and talks to them,asking what can he do to bring justice for Saul killing them? They reply,
”As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul—the Lord’s chosen one”. – II Samuel 21:5-6
So David agrees and bring 7 of Saul’s sons to them and they are hung. Many generations after the oath was made to the deceitful Gibeonites, God expected Israel to honor the pact and when Saul tried to wipe them out, the next king, David had to deal with the consequences of the last. It is interesting that Saul’s daughter and David’s wife Michal could never give David any children. If she did, David would have had to order the execution of his own sons born of Michal that day! God loved David, so He spared David the sorrow of that by making Michal barren.
Many times when things don’t go as we would hope or things seem to be delayed or frustrated it is possible God is protecting us from something we don’t even know is coming. We need to learn to trust in God’s ways.