1. Exposition

How were the leaders of Israel meant to ask counsel from the LORD?

Joshua 9:14 (ESV)

14 So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD.

Numbers 27:21 indicates that Joshua’s leadership role involved inquiring of the Lord whenever he had to make important decisions. He would approach the priest Eleazar who would then use the Urim to discern God’s will. This may have involved some form of casting lots. It is clear from the fact that Israel took some of their provisions to see if they could confirm their words that they already had some suspicions about them. It would have made good sense for Joshua to inquire of the Lord. Indeed, the failure of Israel is not that they were deceived but that they did not inquire of the Lord as they were meant to.1 They asked good questions and investigated, but they did not pray (James 4:2).2