Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Joshua, Chapters 16-18 … To study these chapters, go to this link -
Highlight Reference Passage : Joshua 16: 9-10 … 9 It also included all the towns and their villages that were set aside for the Ephraimites within the inheritance of the Manassites. … 10 They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.
My Journal for Today: If you’ve been reading along with me chronologically through our Bible this year, you’ve noted that God, in these passages in Joshua, instructs the people – VERY CLEARLY – that He will help them eradicate all the peoples who occupied the lands that the Israelites would take as they entered and settled in the promised-land. For example, you can read such an instruction in Joshua 13: 6. BUT, (yes, another very big “BUT”), God’s people had to choose to follow God … or not!
And as we read above, the two tribes from the family of the patriarch, Joseph, the Ephraimites and the Manassites, who actually got a double portion in the inheritance of the lands, were unwilling to follow God’s instructions and, in disobedience to God, they “… did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer.” And because of taking the Canaanites as slaves rather than following God’s command to eradicate these pagans, these two tribes never were able to live in peace, covered by the promises of God in their inherited portions in the promised-land.
I know it’s tough to read of our God instructing His people to wipe out and kill ALL of the peoples who were living in the promised-land as His chosen people took the lands under Joshua. But God’s plan was HIS plan; and He knew what was best for His people to avoid the pagan practices of worship and living practiced by the non-believers who occupied the lands which God was taking and distributing to His chosen peoples.
I hope all can see the application here for all of us. God wants us to COMPLETELY wipe out all ungodliness and unholiness from our lives as we march forward in life, leaving no such remnants of the ungodliness of the world in the process. This, in essence, was the instruction of the Apostle Paul to God’s people which we read in Romans 12: 1-2; and maybe you have this passage memorized; but if not, here it is copied for your meditation below [in the NKJV, which is my memory version] …
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
My dear ones, … my brothers/sisters in Christ, … God wants us to eradicate every remnant of unholiness, i.e., worldliness, from our lives once we cross over our “Jordan,” and we choose to make Jesus the LORD of our lives. And as our Lord, Jesus, makes it clear (in Luke 9: 23) that we’re to deny our selves and follow Him and live life HIS way, following HIS will, as we march toward HIS promised-land in heaven.
We simply (though never easily) must eradicate ALL the pagan practices of those who will try to influence us in ungodly ways as we take God’s promised-land. I’ll leave it to you to inventory your life, as I’m doing this morning, to see if we are driving all the ungodliness from our lives by worshipping our God in obedience to His way, avoiding the influence of the world in our lives.
My Prayer Today: … Lord, help me to purify ALL in me to conform to Your holiness. Amen