Monday, October 25, 2010

a push & a promise

I myself will drive them out from before the people of Israel. Only allot the land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have commanded you.
Joshua 13:6b

Chapter thirteen of Joshua begins with God reminding Joshua that there was still work to be done in the allotment and securing of the promised land. They had won all the major military victories against the strongest cities of the Canaanites. But they were still moving toward the final claiming of all God's promise. There was this last final push of the last half of the book of Joshua. Israel is encouraged by God to make the last efforts and promises them that the Canaanites left in the land will be driven out by a sovereign God.

The military subjugation of the land had been done for the most part. What was left was the settling of Israel into this land. That was going to take time... generations really. In fact, there was not really a full realization of all of this until David and Solomon reigned in Israel as kings. Until then, the nation claimed the promise of God and pushed forward.

From this point on in Joshua, Israel seems all too content to settle into farming and living. They have to be prodded to move forward, and even then, there are signs of incomplete obedience. They leave Canaanite clans in the land (Joshua 11:22; 13:13), which later prove to be a big problem for the nation spiritually and culturally (see the Book of Judges).

God never asks us to do a thing that He is not in for us. When He asks us to obey, He has provided the means to do so in Himself. When we must move forward, He will sovereignly drive away what is opposed to Him, even if we do not see it all at once ourselves. God does not rely on us to do anything, yet He does ask for our obedience. Obedience is about the relationship and not the power of God. We are the ones who grow in our faith and knowledge of God by obeying Him.

- Prepare your minds for action.
1 Peter 1:13

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