It’s Easy to Get In, But Hard to Get Out

Marriages, contracts, business deals, loans, treaties…. It’s easy to get in these things but it can be very hard to get out.

Discernment, patience and prayer are three things that are necessary in avoiding the things in life that are easy to get in, but hard to get out. There are things in life that we get into and had no way of telling down the road that they would cause us great distress- that they would be hard to get out of. And for those situations, we have to just get through them and walk with God.

I want to point out Joshua, the Israelites and the Gibeonites as a Biblical example of where it’s easy to get in, but hard to get out…

Joshua and the Israelites had just defeated the town of Ai and the surrounding peoples in their area, which included the Hittities, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites and others. This caused other people in the area to be scared of the Israelites. Because of fear, these people had planned to take the Israelites down. But the Gibeonites were shrewder and decided to approach Joshua and make a treaty with him, a treaty that would protect them from coming under attack from the Israelites like the groups mentioned above.

Joshua went openly into the treaty with the Gibeonites, doing it in the name of God, thinking they were a people from a faraway land (Joshua 9:6). But in fact, they lived right beside the Israelites. Joshua went into a treaty with the Gibeonites without seeking God’s counsel. But by the time Joshua and the Israelites figured out what was what, they couldn’t renege on the treaty, even though they had been deceived (Joshua 9:19).

It was easy to get into the treaty with the Gibeonites, but the Israelites would never be able to get out of the treaty. Joshua confronted Gibeonites and asked them why they lied, and they admitted that they were fearful of the success of the Israelites, and how they defeated the town of Ai, and that they didn’t want the same thing to happen to them. Joshua couldn’t defeat them or their town because he was locked in an agreement.

Instead, Joshua made the Gibeonite people ‘woodcutters and water carriers for the assembly, to provide for the needs of the altar of the Lord’ (Joshua 9:27). To this day, descendants of the Gibeonites are living amongst the Jewish people, serving their needs.

The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD...
— Joshua 9:14, NIV

It was easy for Joshua to make a treaty with the Gibeonites, but it was impossible for him to get out of it. Joshua or his people did not pray and consult God (v. 14) before making the treaty. Before we move forward with things that are easy to get into, we must pray and seek God’s counsel. He can see all things and we can’t. That’s why we must pray. The gift of discernment is amazing, and the Holy Spirit stands ready to lead us and guide us into the things that we cannot see. It takes discernment, patience and prayer to make wise decisions.

Strive for the rest of 2018 to be careful about the things you choose to enter into. Ask God for discernment, be patient, and stay prayerful before entering into something that could be potentially very hard to get out of.

Happy Friday!