Judges 1

Judges 1 begins the transition after Joshua’s death.  There are some nagging issues in the Promised Land from those who had not been completely driven out during the conquest.  The Canaanites seem to be one of the bigger pains and the people begin to wonder how they will drive them out.  God says “Judah will go.  I’ve given the land to him”.  Along the way they capture and move out a number of their enemies and take the land.  Caleb is around and part of the process as are many of the tribes.  They managed to capture a large portion of the land, including Jerusalem and Bethel.  They used spies and leveraged intelligence from a few folks to win a number of battles.  But “the Canaanites dug their heels in and wouldn’t budge”.  They just couldn’t finish the job and “could not get rid of them”.  It was as if they were a curse that was meant to be there.  “They did though, put them to forced labor”.  So they again are living alongside these people, having captured more of the land, but still not ridding themselves of the inhabitants.

 So what can we learn from the continued struggle of the people.  They did not rid themselves of the Canaanites when they originally entered the Promised Land, and now they continue to struggle with their presence.  It reminds me of sin, and the dangerous game that many play with life.  Often we tend to see how close to the line we can live and we fail to remove things that can draw us into sin and away from God.  We convince ourselves that we are able to handle the temptation, that we won’t look at those magazines, we won’t look at that website, we won’t watch those things on TV or put the movie in the dvd and actually play it.  We play with fire and assume we can control ourself and not be burned.  How foolish that approach.  When we don’t purge sin and the things that draw us to it from our lives, we are likely to have our human nature draw us into sin and cause us to fall.  We are not nearly as strong as we want to believe.  We will see that as the problem of the people in Judges and throughout scripture.  They fail to do what God says – to rid their land of those who might lead them astray – and next thing you know they are walking away from God.  We have that same issue in our lives.  We need to rid our lives of the things that draw us to ungodliness.  We need to get our act together and be surrounded by things that will draw us to Him.  Are you free from the distractions that draw you from God?  Get there and do it now!

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