WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 14, 2023
TOPIC: BE CAREFUL OF WRONG ASSUMPTIONS
BY T. O. BANSO
“So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, ‘Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city’” (2 Kings 7:12 New King James Version).
There is hardly anyone who does not make assumptions. We often make decisions and act based on our assumptions. If the assumptions are correct, such decisions and actions could be right. However, there is a problem when decisions and actions are made based on wrong assumptions. Wrong assumptions could lead to wrong decisions and actions with attendant consequences.
The Oxford Advanced Leaner’s Dictionary defines assumption as a belief or feeling that something is true or that something will happen, although there is no proof. Be careful of making decisions and acting on wrong assumptions. If you’re not careful, you will suffer the consequences.
In 2 Kings 7, the king of Israel made a wrong assumption that the Syrians who had besieged Samaria set a trap for them by going into hiding. However, they had fled from their camp through a divine intervention so that the prophecy of the Prophet Elisha about an abundance of food for the hungry people of Samaria the next day could be fulfilled.
Elisha had prophesied, “Hear the word of the LORD. Thus says the LORD: Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria” (2 Kings 7:1 New King James Version). The question was how that would happen.
Four hungry lepers at the entrance of the gate of Samaria were forced to go to the camp of the Syrians to look for food only to discover to their surprise that the camp was deserted. A miracle had taken place.
2 Kings 7:6-7 says, “For the LORD had caused the army of the Syrians to hear the noise of chariots and the noise of horses — the noise of a great army; so they said to one another, ‘Look, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to attack us!’ Therefore they arose and fled at twilight, and left the camp intact — their tents, their horses, and their donkeys — and they fled for their lives” (New King James Version).
The lepers went into one tent and ate and drank, and carried from it silver and gold and clothing, and went and hid them; then they came back and entered another tent, and carried some from there also and went and hid it. Then they said they were not doing right if they kept the good news to themselves. They decided to go and tell the king’s household their discovery through the city’s gatekeepers.
What was the king’s reaction? “So the king arose in the night and said to his servants, ‘Let me now tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we are hungry; therefore they have gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, ‘When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city’” (2 Kings 7:12 New King James Version).
The king spoke as if he had facts to substantiate his claim. He had no proof for what he said. He was only acting on a wrong assumption, which would have made the entire city not enjoy the miracle of abundance that God had already given Samaria. The entire city would have continued to suffer hunger, which was so severe that two women had agreed to kill their two sons and eat.
They had killed and eaten the son of one of them. However, on the second day, the woman whose son was to be killed and eaten next went to hide him. The woman whose son had been killed complained to the king and this provoked him to demand Elisha’s intervention to put an end to the great famine in Samaria.
The assumption of the king of Israel that the Syrians had set a trap for them was wrong. By his assumption, he was discouraging his people from believing the story of the lepers who had already eaten to their satisfaction and had packed silver and gold and clothing.
Thank God for the wise counsel of one of the king’s servants who didn’t accept the king’s assumption of the Syrian trap but advised that they should send men to confirm the truth. The messengers returned with a report that corroborated that of the leper.
Therefore, the people went out and plundered the tents of the Syrians. They enjoyed the abundance of food that the Prophet Elisha had prophesied. The king’s wrong assumption would have made them continue to suffer hunger needlessly.
Be careful of wrong assumptions. Some people have been denied God’s provisions, promotion, breakthrough, etc. because of wrong assumptions. Others are in trouble because they made decisions based on wrong assumptions. It is not all that glitters that is gold. Don’t act on assumptions alone, particularly when it has to do with important decisions. Your assumptions may be wrong as well as your decisions.
In Joshua 9, Joshua and the leaders of Israel assumed that the Gibeonites were saying the truth when they lied that they had come from a far country, showing them moldy bread, torn wineskins, and old garments and sandals as proof, and asking the Israelites to make a covenant with them.
Joshua 9:14-15 says, “Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD. So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them” (New King James Version). Note this phrase: but they did not ask counsel of the LORD. Ask counsel of the Lord; don’t assume you know. Unfortunately, three days after the Israelites had made a covenant with the Gibeonites, they heard that they were their neighbours who lived near them.
The Israelites couldn’t break the covenant they had made. The only thing they did was curse them. The Gibeonites would not be freed from being slaves; they would be woodcutters and water carriers for the house of God (verse 23). The Israelites would have avoided this situation if they had not assumed the Gibeonites were saying the truth but had asked counsel from the LORD.
Be careful of wrong assumptions. Wrong assumptions would lead to wrong conclusions and consequently lead you to take the wrong steps. Wrong assumptions may cost you so much. The repercussions could sometimes be irredeemable.
In 1 Chronicles 19, the Ammonites brought themselves into a needless war with Israel under David because of the wrong assumption of the princes of the Ammonites on the kindness of David to the new king of the Ammonites, Hanun, whose father, Nahash, had shown kindness to him, too.
David had sent messengers to comfort Hanun concerning his father. But the princes of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think that David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Did his servants not come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” (Verse 3 New King James Version). This was not true; it was a wrong assumption.
They acted on this wrong assumption and humiliated David’s messengers. They shaved them, cut off their garments in the middle at their buttocks, and sent them away. The consequence, for the Ammonites, was war. The Israelites defeated them and their Syrian ally. This could have been avoided.
Be careful of wrong assumptions. Reading most chapters of the book of Job, one sees the wrong assumption of Job’s friend about his trials. They assumed that it was because of his sin. Be careful of wrong assumptions about people’s conditions and experiences.
In John 9, the disciples of Jesus asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (Verse 2 New King James Version). They never thought of a third possibility. Jesus said neither the man nor his parents sinned but that the works of God should be revealed in him (verse 3).
Hear what Jesus said when he was told about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices: “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:2-3 New King James Version).
He continued: “Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (verses 4-5 New King James Version).
Be careful of wrong assumptions. 1 John 4:1 says not to believe every spirit but to test the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. Test everything; hold on to the good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
What you see may not be what you think it is. People’s looks, smiles, laughter, attitude, or actions may not mean what you assume, negatively or positively. Don’t judge by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). Sometimes you need to clarify or find out from the people concerned. More importantly, always listen to the Holy Spirit and obey the Word of God. In addition, don’t despise or reject Godly counsel. Do not be wise in your eyes (Proverbs 3:7a).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, let me not be wise in my eyes. Please deliver me from making wrong assumptions. Holy Spirit, help me to differentiate between right and wrong assumptions. Help me to obey the Word of God. Father, bless me with Godly counselors whom I will listen to.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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