Consider the message of the book of Joshua & compare it to the promise of God to Abraham in Genesis 15:16. What does this mean about God & about the events of this world?
- The Bible clearly declares God as the ultimate promise-keeper whose purposes will not be thwarted (Job 42:2). All nations exist & have their boundaries because God allows them to (Acts 17:26).
- Therefore, God will not be kept from fulfilling His promises to His people. He did not take Abraham into the Promised Land immediately because the “iniquity of the Amorites [was] not yet complete” (Genesis 15:16). God had His eye upon the wickedness of Canaan & determined to use His people & their journey into the Promised Land as a judgment upon the nations there. Israel’s rise & the Amorites fall were all on God’s timetable.
- Therefore, when we consider the events of this world (the establishment of American democracy, the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the reality of North Korea’s aggression), we do not need to fret. God is on His throne & we can trust that His will is going to be accomplished.
What does the destruction of the people of Canaan foreshadow? Why is their destruction extremely relevant to your life & the life of everyone you love?
- It foreshadows that evil may last for a season & those who sin may enjoy their pleasures temporarily, but judgment is coming, & we know not when, how, or through whom it will arrive.
- This is extremely relevant to our life & the lives of everyone we love because “all have sinned & fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) & all struggle with hiding our failures. It is ingrained within our fallen DNA. Therefore, we must not think we can truly hide from the God who sees all things (Hebrews 4:13). We must plead with our friends & families members to be reconciled with God or they will experience God’s judgment, both in this life & in eternity (Luke 13:3; Hebrews 9:27).
What is the difference between a sin of commission & a sin of omission?
- Sins of commission involve the intentional disobedience of a known command or moral action. Consider the sin of Achan in the book of Joshua when he intentionally chose to take particular sacred items from Jericho. He knew he was doing wrong because he hide these items & God dealt with him justly.
- Sins of omission involve the intentional neglect to do something that you know is right. Consider James 4:17 which says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
- We are accountable to God for all of our actions, wrong things that we chose to do & right things that we neglect doing. If we are truly concerned about taking captive every thought, action & motivation, then we need to analyze our life in these terms in order to discover known sins & hidden sins.
Like Joshua, Christians are called to a certain type of war. Look at Romans 8:6-13 & Colossians 3:5-8 & speak to the kind of battlefield mentality we should have in our lives. What should we be conquering?
- While the internal state of Christ-followers can be characterized as one of peace (Philippians 4:7), there is a certain degree to which Christians are at war.
- It is very important for us to state at the outset, we are not at war with people. The differences we have with individuals or they ideas they espouse should never bring us to the point of thinking we are at war with them individually. We must not forget the call God has given us to let our “reasonableness be known to all” (Philippians 4:5) & the call to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).
- With that being said though, we are at war.
- We are at war with our own sin. When Paul tells us to “put to death the deeds of the body,” we are to understand that it is our duty to hate our sin & put it to death with all our spiritual fervor.
- We are at war with the ideas & falsehoods propagated by this world. We are called to “demolish arguments & every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God.” We bear up the “sword of truth” to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 6:17).
- Finally, behind all of these false ideologies & unbiblical doctrines are the principalities & powers. As Paul says in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
- It is in this sense that Jesus is speaking about the “violent” taking the Kingdom of Heaven “by force” (Matthew 11:12). Therefore, let us glorify God by fighting in these ways with all of our might.