“But they did not inquire of the Lord.” Because the Israelites trusted their eyes and their own logic, rather than leaning on God and trusting Him completely even with the obvious, they fell prey to deception. Remember that God had a reason for driving out the nations before them and for bringing swift and harsh judgment on those nations. Not only did they practice idolatry, but intermingling their people with the Israelites would lead the people away from the one true God.
Second Corinthians 5:7 tells us, “For we live by faith, not by sight.” Our eyes and our minds are as easily deceived as the Israelites were by an enemy that can make something evil appear to be godly and right. One of the enemy’s favorite deceptions is to get us so wrapped up in trying to live righteously, that we lose sight of the point of the gospel: That we couldn’t save ourselves and needed a Savior. Just as we could not save ourselves by our ‘good behavior,’ we cannot live a righteous and God-honoring life in our own power and by sheer force of will. We must “inquire of the Lord.”
When we aren’t sure what to do in a situation, we should inquire of the Lord. When the answer seems readily obvious, we should still inquire of the Lord. When we see only one possible option, we should also inquire of the Lord. First Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “Pray continually” or in some translations, “Pray without ceasing.” We are to be in constant and unbroken fellowship and communion with the Lord through the Holy Spirit living in us. God gives us eyes to see and ears to hear the deceptions of the enemy.
Has God ever allow you to see clearly the wolf in sheep’s clothing? God called us to be wise as serpents but gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16), and He also warned us that even in the body of believers there will be those who are simply wearing a disguise (Matthew 13:24-30). We need to pray, just as Jesus admonished Peter, (Matthew 26:41) that we “might not enter into temptation.” That includes the temptation to make commitments without inquiring of God.