What a Friend We Have in Jesus



We come back to the two verses that we skipped in the previous sermon. These two verses bear the weight of the whole passage. They simply tell us that Joshua and the leaders of the Israelites did not inquire of the Lord. They listened to the story, considered the evidence then made a decision, but they never involved God in the matter. The writer of the hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” reminds us that our greatest failure is because “we do not carry everything to God in a Prayer.” Why do we do this?

  1. The Compelling Story

The people of Gibeah concocted a story that was so believable. The Israelites listened attentively as they were told the story and slowly bought the deception of the Gibeonites. The first mistake Israelites did was to listen to the Gibeonites in the first place. They were not to entertain any of the Canaanite tribes. This was an order from God.

Do you remember the Garden of Eden? The most expensive mistake that Adam and Eve did was to entertain a discussion about God’s instructions. Once they gave the devil a hearing, he gave them a very compelling story.

There is a very big problem when we trust people’s stories above God’s instructions. When it is clear what God has said we would do better to obey rather than discuss and allow the opinion of others to cloud our decision. Remember the compelling story is nothing but a concocted lie. The devil’s aim is to ensnare you, with his deception.

2. The Considerable Evidence

The people of a Gibeah have covered all the loopholes in their deception. When someone asked, “ how do we know that you are not our neighbours?” They produced the evidence of their stale provisions and worn-out clothes. The false evidence sealed the deal.

The false witness comes loaded with very considerable evidence to back up his story. The evidence though false is created so that the story is believable. Sometimes what we see with our eyes as evidence may just be an illusion created to make us believe a lie. It takes a lot of discernment to unravel the truth from the well-packaged lies. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 John‬ ‭4:1‬).

3. The Clear Conclusion

The Israelites rushes to make a decision because to them it was a foregone conclusion. They bound themselves on oath based on the story and the evidence. They failed the test of discernment.

Discernment in itself is not a clever tactic only known to a few “super Christians!” Discernment is simply taking a step back from the stories and the mountains of evidence to just ask what God’s view of all there is. If we take time to pray for matters, we will be surprised at how many pitfalls we would avoid. The will of God is only known to those who take the time to inquire of Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

(‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-7‬).