Pericope: Judges 2:20-22
One of the big mistakes Israel made was failing to completely obey the Lord. Their mission was to completely conquer the Promised Land, yet when they entered, they allowed their enemies to live. The reason God wanted his people to completely destroy their enemies is because he knew that his people would prostitute themselves to the pagan gods if they were not completely destroyed. And this is exactly what happened. As God lead Joshua and his generation, they conquered several peoples, but after Joshua passed away, there was still a lot of land to be conquered. So when the next generation takes over the mission, they are faced with a world that is not as it should be. An imperfect world became God’s test for this new generation. It revealed the condition of their hearts towards him. It demonstrated that there was work yet to be done in regards to their faith in Him and obedience. Israel was not faithful. Today, we do not battle people and we are not required to carry out the ban (Thank the Lord!). But we may look around and become despaired as we see that our world is not as it should be. If God is real, then why does evil exist? Whey is there such turmoil and pain? The reality is that God is bringing His people to the Land of Promise where there will be no more suffering and pain. Evil will be destroyed. At this time, God is graciously and patiently allowing us to live in a promise that is not yet fulfilled. So how should we live in this world that has not yet been annhilated of sin? As people undergoing a test! We must realize that opportunity for evil in our life is our test for fidelity toward God. Not only that, but it is a test to see if we will take ground against those things that we can conquer (hurts, habits and hangups). If we struggle with certain things such as pornography, lust, greed, selfishness, anger, eating disorder, depression, etc, then what are some things we can put “under the ban?” That is, what can we do to destroy the opportunity for our struggles to exist? For example, one might want to get rid of Internet, seek accountability and counsel if he struggles with pornography. He may also want to surround himself with others who are struggling with the same sin. We should all look at our life and see where God is testing us. What can we do now in this world that is not as it yet should be?