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tricked

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."

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. 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."

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 9:3-15 ESV)

You may know the rest of the story... Israel got tricked, and the Gibeonites lived nearby, in the land that Israel was to possess.

The take-away lesson for me on this is: Success can result in self-sufficiency and carelessness. The leaders had enough savvy to ask questions and examine credentials, but yet they did not seek the Lord for wisdom and guidance. They did not take the time to pray, and apparently thought that was not necessary.

How do you know when you're being self-sufficient and careless? That's simple -- when you are prayer-less, it is a sure sign that you are depending on your own adequacy, strength and wisdom, because you are not seeking that from above.

The Apostle Paul wrote, "Never stop praying." (1 Thess 5:17 NLT)

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