Judges 3:1-4 – “Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan; 2 only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war, those who had not experienced it formerly). 3 These nations are: the five lords of the Philistines and all the Canaanites and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived in Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon as far as Lebo-hamath. 4 They were for testing Israel, to find out if they would obey the commandments of the LORD, which He had commanded their fathers through Moses.” NASU
I have often wondered about many things in Scripture and in the history of mankind, the nation of Israel, and the Church. My title question is one that I have studied at length and I wish I could say that I have a fully exhaustive conclusion to offer. I do not, but I do have some thoughts that I believe are based on Scripture. The Bible tells us definitively some of the reason and among those was to ‘Teach them to War.’ In this passage, we are also informed that the enemies were allowed to remain to TEST ISRAEL. One of their purposes was to test them to see if they would obey the Commandments of God. Now, I personally believe that God knew the answer but was allowing an object lesson for the people and successive generations to see both the benefits and dangers of failure to OBEY.
In 1 John 3:8 we read, “…the Son of God appeared so that He might destroy the works of the devil.” John 16:11 informs us that when the Holy Spirit came, His ministry would be to bring CONVICTION. That conviction was three-pronged it addressed SIN, RIGHTEOUSNESS, and JUDGMENT. It is important to note that Jesus spoke this in the ‘perfect tense’ BEFORE He went to the Cross. Let me ask, “is TIME a spirit world or a sense world commodity?” Hebrews 2:14-15 informs us that Jesus rendered powerless, the one who had the power of death, the devil. Who did Jesus render POWERLESS? The devil.
Colossians 2:8-10 reveals that people are taken captive through philosophy, empty deception, the traditions of men, and the elementary principles of this world. WOW! The apostle Paul identified, in Ephesians 6, the RULERS & AUTHORITIES are not those in the natural realm but in the spirit realm. Jesus stripped the demonic powers and the devil of authority and power. I suggest that you read Colossians 2:11-15 and focus on the truth that Jesus, our Lord, and Savior, DISARMED the rulers and authorities and made a public display of them. THAT IS POWERFUL! In the Book of Revelation Chapter 12, we realize that believers OVERCOME through the Blood of Jesus and the Word of their testimony. We do that because of the work of Jesus on the Cross. He said in John 19:30, “IT IS FINISHED!”
Based on what I have just said and quoted it would appear that the purpose and intent of God were to Drive out All Enemies and Give Rest from War. However, in Exodus 23:29-31 we find that God informed them that He would not drive out the enemies in a single year because if he did the beasts of the field would become so numerous they would overrun the land. God’s Promise was “little by little” He would drive out the enemy. Wait? Didn’t God say He would go before them and drive out the enemy? YES, He did. There is no contradiction because God did drive out the enemies but He did it in a way that taught them obedience and instilled confidence and faith.
In 1 Corinthians 3:9 we are told that we (believers) are God’s Field. That is incredibly interesting and demands the question, “How do you Possess the Field or Land of God little by little, under the Plan & Power of God?” Lack of Information can lead to deception and deception can lead to advantage being taken of us. Paul addressed the importance of not being ignorant of the devices and schemes of the devil in 2 Corinthians 2:11. Are you Ignorant of the Schemes of the devil in your own land, your life, your family, your ministry? Do you know the strategies he employs? Do you comprehend how he is attempting to steal from and defraud you? What is your greatest area of weakness? How is he keeping you weak?
We will discuss those questions in the next devotional but until then may the Lord bless you richly and keep you safe and walking in the Full Victory of God’s Abundant Living.