Joshua chronicles the conquests of Israel as they drive out the inhabitants of the promised land…well…most of them.

But one could argue that Israel doesn’t seem to be too concerned about that.  Chapter 14 closes with the statement “and the land rested from war.”

Rested?  Now?  There are still people in the promised land that shouldn’t be there.  Don’t you remember what Moses said?

Yet in Joshua we see a few times when Israel ignored that…hey…they were “resting.” – see Josh 15:63, 16:10, and 17:12.  All times when they didn’t drive out the Canaanites.  Note – it’s not that GOD couldn’t drive the inhabitants, Israel “couldn’t” and “didn’t”.   Why wasn’t God empowering them to drive them out like he had the other times?   I tend to lean on my trusty ESV study notes here:

Perhaps statements of what Israel “could not” do are to be read as early evidence of spiritual slippage—of failure to follow the Lord “wholly” (see 14:8)—which will become increasingly evident in the book of Judges

Again, loving my reading of Pink’s commentary “Gleanings in Joshua” – he digs WAY deep into this –

The above failures are to be accounted for by God’s withholding of His power and blessing upon their efforts. Andy why did He not show Himself strong on their behalf?  Because they had failed to do their duty, for instead of finishing the work the Lord had given them to do, they became slack and took their ease…

the lessons for us to learn therefrom are obvious. God grants His people no furloughs in the “good fight of faith.” (1 Tim 6:12)

He then ties it in with 1 Cor 16:13 which just blew my mind:

13(A) Be watchful,(B) stand firm in the faith,(C) act like men,(D) be strong.

  1. Be watchful
  2. Stand firm in the faith
  3. Act like men
  4. Be strong

I’ll close with one more Pink thought —

Unless we be vigilant in guarding against temptations and dangers on every side, are faithful in holding the truth of the Gospel both doctrinally and practically, are undismayed by those who oppose us – conducting ourselves boldly and bravely – we shall have no strength with which to overcome our foes.

So, you want to learn how to live a victorious life now?  Live by faith in the Gospel.  I know.  Too simple, right?  Aren’t there “7 Steps” we can find somewhere?   🙂

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