“And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger.”
Under the leadership of Joshua the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and entered the promised land. The book of Joshua records the numerous victories of the Israelites. However, God made it very clear as recorded in Numbers 33:52 “Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:”
God’s instructions could not have been more clear. They were to drive the inhabitants out of the land and utterly destroy any religious relics left behind. Even though they had numerous victories they fell short of driving the people out. Chapter one of Judges points out the numerous times they failed to drive the people out. The tribe of Judah conquered several cities, “but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron” (v.19). They tried but failed. Then, instead of seeking God’s face until the victory was won, they gave up. Soon thereafter the remainder of the tribes stopped trying. Judah “could not” but the others “did not.” The rest of Judges tell the stories of how Israel was persecuted by these people they failed to drive out.
We are much like this, God saves us and brings us into the promised land. Yet, there remain pockets of resistance in our lives. We still have besetting sins, weaknesses of character, bad habits that give way to the world, flesh and devil. God expects us to fight against these enemies and to ever strive to grow in grace. Yet, many believers decide the battle is too difficult. They choose the easy way of compromise. They decide that the pockets of resistance are small and not worth the trouble.
Don’t quit, don’t give in to the world. Repent and trust God, He can give you the victory! Partial obedience is disobedience! Taking on the characteristics of the world around us can lead to an enslavement of sin!