Well, my wireless provider had other plans. The internet would not work. Not unusual for that to happen some of the time but this went on for hours. So I tried sending a text message to my husband (which always works.) No dice, sending failure. So I tried calling. He and I managed to have conversations twice yesterday, one of which was cut off in the middle by a loud beeping sound! It wasn’t until 7:20 last night that the company issued a statement to the media that the system had been experiencing “technical difficulties” but that they had repaired the problem! This had been going on since some time on Monday and they couldn’t issue a statement until Tuesday night???? Are you kidding me????
So things did not go exactly as planned yesterday (or the last few days for that matter) and I had to change things around a bit! In other words that is situation normal at my house! The best laid plans needed a little tweaking!
I was reminded of the fact that this sort of thing happens to everyone. I was reading, again, in Joshua and he had some unexpected things that he had to deal with, as well. In chapter 6 it looks like everything is going exactly as planned. The Israelites march around Jericho seven times and then the trumpet blows and the walls fall down and they take the city. Rahab and her family are taken out safely, the plunder is taken for the treasury of the Lord and the city is reduced to rubble. So far, so good. Then we get to Ai.
In chapter 7, Joshua sends out spies again. They come back and say it will be no problem to take Ai and they will only need a couple thousand men. The fighting men go up and then the Israelites have to turn back because they are getting routed! Wait! That wasn’t the plan! And that’s the point where Joshua finds out from God that Achan took some of the gold and silver meant for the Lord’s treasury, which means Israel broke the covenant. So Israel repents and regroups and tries again and the next round is successful. So successful, that other kings and tribes in the area start paying very close attention. Some of the kings decide to band together to fight Israel. But one group, the Gibeonites, decide that they are going to try to save themselves. They decided to trick Israel into making a treaty of peace with them. So, they found the rattiest clothes, the oldest patched wine skins, and the moldiest food and then loaded up donkeys and headed toward the Israel encampment. It is an interesting exchange in chapter 9 between the Gibeonites and the Israelites at first Joshua is suspicious but in the end they made a treaty with them. Verse 14 says:
“So the leaders partook of their provisions and did not ask direction from the Lord.”Three days later, they discover that the Gibeonites live in the land that they are about to conquer and that puts them in a dilemma. If they kill them, they break their oath. If they spare them, they break a commandment. This is not going exactly as planned!
In the end, they do spare them but they put them to work as “hewers of wood and drawers of water” and the Lord does not condemn Israel but continues to lead them. Here’s an interesting point, not to be missed. In the notes for the Wesley Study Bible it refers us back to the covenant renewal ceremony that Moses led in Deuteronomy. Here is what it says in Deuteronomy 29 verse 11:
“…and the aliens who are in your camp, both those who cut your wood and those who draw your water-”The moral of the story? Joshua may not have anticipated this dilemma. It may not have been part of his plan, but it was a part of God’s plan! Huh! Didn’t see that coming!
There is a lesson in this for all of us, a gentle reminder. Our plans are not always God’s plans and sometimes a change of plan is just what is needed to get back on track. I discovered that particular lesson first hand, yesterday. Without the phone or the internet I managed to catch up on some reading and I took a long walk in the woods with the children and got reacquainted with nature. And as much as I want to think that I can go at top speed, truth is, I’m not 100 percent recovered. I still need a little more rest. So yesterday was a productive day, it was just at a slower pace. It turned out to be a pretty good day! It just didn’t go exactly as I planned but I think it went as God planned! Situation normal, once again!