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March 16th - Incomplete Conquests

Incomplete Conquests

(Joshua 13:13; 15:13-19, 63; 16:10; 17:11-13; 24:29-30, 32-33)

(Judges 1:1-36; 2:1-9)

Canaanite Idol Baal

Artist unknown

c1400 B.C.

Patriarchs have departed

As the book of Joshua draws to a close, we find that the last of the patriarchs have passed away. Joshua and the high priest, Eleazar, died. The people buried these two leaders in the Promised Land, along with the ancient bones of Joseph.

The new generation carried the responsibility for driving out the pagan peoples from the land of Canaan, as the Lord had commanded. And the Lord promised them the victory, if they would but follow His instructions completely.

Taking the land

Each of the tribes of Israel mustered its forces for the conquest before it. Judah and Simeon banded together for success, including the taking of Jerusalem. Caleb and his crew captured their own territory. Ephraim took Bethel and the surrounding area.

The remaining tribes, however, failed to eradicate the Canaanites from their lands. In each case, pagan peoples remained in the region.

The incomplete conquests caused a breach of the Lord’s covenant with His people. God had clearly instructed them to remove all of the inhabitants. Although these divine instructions may sound harsh, the Lord knew any remaining pagan influences could corrupt His people and lead them astray from His design for their holiness. He had chosen the people of Israel to be set apart as His own, not intermarrying with unbelievers and practicing their ungodly sacrifices and other pagan customs (see Judges 2:1-5).

Allowing corrupting influences

Although the Lord may not call modern believers to eradicate entire nations, He surely instructs us to remove destructive influences from our lives. What dangerous persuaders do we allow? What cultural, educational, political or other influences might permeate our homes, or even our hearts? What company are we keeping, that perhaps we ought to avoid?

“Do not be misled:

‘Bad company corrupts good character.’"

(1 Corinthians 15:33, NIV)

What boundaries ought we to refortify, so that we might better heed and worship the Lord?

May our great and glorious God grant us the wisdom to see that His own company far outshines any other we might seek.

Will you pray with me?

Wondrous Lord,

How wise You are.

Call us closer

To You today,

And show us

Where we may have allowed

Any destructive leadings

Into our lives.

Give us boldness

To step away

From anything

That draws us

Away from You.

Remind us

Of Your glory,

That we may seek You

Above all else.


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1 comment:

  1. Great food for thought, Linda. There are a lot of subtle things that can creep in and become destructive forces in my life. Some things seem harmless at first, but can quickly become idols.

    Thanks for making me do this self check, friend.