【Bible Study】Joshua 16: Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude

Bible Study: Joshua

Have a Resolute Attitude When Dealing With Enemies

Let us look at chapter 10 verses:

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. (Joshua 16:10 NIV)

Actually, in the Bible, we can see that what they did made God very unhappy. Whether a person believes in the Lord or claims His promise, they need to have a resolute attitude. Careless and confused attitudes are not a solution. Chapters 15:63, 16:10, and other chapters all talk about not completely driving out the enemies and not having a resolute attitude. To sum up, if you are not resolute enough in claiming God's promise, it will become a thorn in your side in the future.

The topic of this chapter is "Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude." After the descendants of Joseph, the Ephraimites, received this land, they did not drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer. As a result, the Ephraimites went to Joshua and said, "We have many people in our tribe, and the land we received is too small. Can we have more land?"

It is strange that in chapter 16, they did not drive out all the Canaanites living in Gezer and then treat them as slaves. In the following days, these Canaanites who were not driven out became a thorn in the flesh and a nail in the bone for the Israelites. We can see that God actually requires us to have a resolute attitude when dealing with our enemies. If we are not resolute enough, it will become a problem in the future.

Are we resolute enough to believe in the Lord? If we are not resolute enough in dealing with our bad habits, we often leave some behind, which will become a thorn in our flesh and a nail in our bones in the future. If we approach being Christians with a compromising attitude, there will be too many problems in the future.

In fact, in healing and deliverance, we pray for people's illnesses to be cured and problems to be solved. But then they relapse, and when they recover, they relapse again. Why is this happening? Because we lack a resolute attitude.

When we lack a resolute attitude, we are actually violating what God has commanded us to do. Whether it's for this reason or that reason, there are always reasons to violate God's words. If a person lacks a resolute attitude throughout their life, their path to believing in the Lord will be quite difficult.

Since there are some pastors among us, I want to share my most precious gain, which is the concept of the Doctrine of Destiny. If you carefully examine it, it is a resolute attitude that we can only gain our promises through fighting and winning. But this is not what they want. What they want is something scientific, technical, and practical.

Let's think carefully; these people are all believers. They were not able to solve their problems in their previous churches. Then they came to us, and their problems were solved. After that, we still demand strict adherence to God's words, not only in His words but also in implementing His words.

That's why we can see that the gods are clearly with us. If we, like many people, do things carelessly, it's like driving away ghosts but not being able to drive them out completely. It's like dealing with our carnality but not dealing with it completely. There's always a little something left, which will eventually become a thorn in our bones and a nail in our flesh. Therefore, this resolute attitude is very important.

Uncompromising Compliance to God's Word

If you ask whether this is God's plan, it is also God's plan. God's plan is to let the descendants of Israel practice warfare frequently through the Canaanites who are left behind. This is also good, but also difficult. If we have a resolute attitude, I think the days ahead will be much better.

In fact, a person's problem lies in their vision. Can you see far enough into the future? If you don't see far enough, you might think it's great to let these Canaanites stay among us and do hard labour! Do we really need labourers? We don't need labourers. What we need is an uncompromising commitment to obey God's word. Do we need to be so cruel? In fact, if we look at it from a human perspective, it is very cruel. Where will these people live? But that is not our concern. What we need to consider is how to keep and obey God's word.

You will find that keeping and obeying God's word may often conflict with our moral beliefs. However, our God is not the God of the Tao Te Ching; our God is the God of the Bible. The Bible records this matter; to be honest, I don't quite understand it, but I try to understand God's will. In fact, God's will is for us to have a resolute attitude. In the Book of Judges:

Then the LORD raised up judges,  who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the LORD ’s commands. Whenever the LORD raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the LORD relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them. But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.

 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, "Because this nation has violated the covenant I ordained for their ancestors and has not listened to me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their ancestors did." The LORD had allowed those nations to remain; he did not drive them out at once by giving them into the hands of Joshua. (Judges 2:16-23 NIV)

Actually, God is testing whether we have a resolute attitude. If we often lack faith and still have an idolatrous attitude, it seems that we cannot completely break the logical system of the world within us or thoroughly deal with the evil deeds of our flesh. Then, we will truly provoke God's wrath.

So why do we always have problems? You should thank God! It's because:

These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD ’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses. (Judges 3:1-4 NIV)

Did the Israelites hold on? No, they didn't. By the time of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah were completely wiped out. If we look closely, fulfilling God's promise is simple and yet difficult. Why is it simple? It's simple because as long as you believe and are willing to obey, you will definitely receive the promise, and you will definitely win the battle!

So, where does the difficulty lie? The difficulty lies in the fact that we often sacrifice our resolute attitude of obedience to God's word for immediate benefits. We must always be diligent in obeying God's word and keep this in our hearts. The most important thing about being a believer is to obey God's word resolutely. The many problems in this world are caused by not being diligent in obeying God's word. If everyone could extend their vision, and look further, shouldn't we have a resolute attitude of faith in God?

So, in the end, fulfilling God's promise is actually very easy.

Resolutely Deal with the Value System of the World

Many people always have excuses, but they refuse to deal with their bad habits. Today we drive the demon out, and tomorrow we invite it back again. When we drive it out, we swear that we will become brave warriors of Jehovah. But a few days later, we fall for the devils again.

I was very surprised by this. Later, I also thanked God because it allowed us to practice the battle frequently. We invited the demon back again after a few days of driving it out. That's how our bad habits are.

I think that among us, we can have a resolute attitude by reading Joshua 16, which is to completely drive out these enemies. You may wonder why the Ephraimites did not completely drive out the Canaanites. It's because they found that they needed some people who did not do hard labour to do the work because they were lazy! As a result, these people became a thorn in their bones and a pain in their flesh.

Later, they ran out of space. So, they went to other people and said, "This place cannot accommodate us!" But Joshua made it clear: "You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours." But the Ephraimites said, "The people in that area are strong, and they have iron chariots and war chariots." Why did the Ephraimites say this? It's because they were afraid to fight them.

We have come to today as a church, and as we read this passage, shouldn't we begin to reflect? The church must be holy, and this attitude of holiness cannot be changed. I want to remind everyone again: do not include anyone under your leadership just to pursue numbers. Sometimes you may not be able to shepherd them properly, but you feel that they have some use, so you keep them. However, these people will eventually become a thorn in your flesh and a nail in your flesh. Therefore, I think we need a resolute attitude, which is to build a holy, united, and glorious church! We will never just aim to increase numbers, nor will we pursue offerings. Instead, we must carefully guard and follow God's ways.

Those who were not driven out of Jerusalem lived with the people of Judah, and although they were doing hard labour there, it seemed like nothing. However, their evil habits of worshipping idols spread directly to the Israelites. How do we know? Later in the chapters, the Israelites began to imitate these people and worship idols, so God's wrath was upon them.

The habit of worshipping idols was transmitted from the Canaanites to the Jebusites, who lived among them. How was it so easily transmitted? We must know for sure that these idol-worshipping behaviours are very effective. People who worship idols have very powerful evil spirits behind them.

When we carefully ponder this matter, we will realise that it is a spiritual issue! If we are not resolute in dealing with our flesh, it is like when the Israelites left these Canaanites behind. If we are not resolute in dealing with the value system of the world, we will leave them behind, just like the Israelites left the Canaanites behind. In the end, they will become the objects of our internal struggles, and they will become stronger and stronger until they completely annihilate us.

It is not that God's promise has disappeared, but rather that we have been deceived by the evil spirits operating in the world. Today, we must thoroughly deal with our secular value system and spare no effort! There is a characteristic among us: either we drive the demons out or we are taken away by the demons. If a person strictly implements God's words, he will certainly obtain God's promise.

I hope brothers and sisters can summarise a pattern, which is that if we leave a little bit of the secular system within us, it will become the source of problems within us, repeatedly manifesting itself and even defiling our entire being.

We should observe these things that we have left within us, which will become the root of our future harm. Let's ponder: What have you left behind? When you left it, there may not have been any problems, but when you become weak, those problems will immediately manifest themselves until they destroy you.

Since the time of Joshua, the Israelites have not been resolute enough in implementing God's words and have been careless. Don't they know how God's words are spoken? Actually, they do know, so why don't they implement them? It is because they have their own short-sighted views.

Have a Long-Term View

Actually, brothers and sisters should know that the root of Israel's destruction and ruin hundreds of years later started here. If they knew that their country would be destroyed and their family would be ruined later, they would not have done this. But their vision was not far enough. If your vision is not far enough, you will never be able to see as far as God.

We need to believe in God's word, keep it, and obey it. Not believing and disobeying God's word is the root of many problems. It is not a good thing that many things have not been revealed yet. Many Christians' illnesses are very difficult to pray for because the root of their problems is not keeping and obeying God's word. If a person does not keep and obey God's word, God will curse him.

Why did Jesus never pray for the Pharisees? Because the Pharisees had evolved into the brood of vipers. If we evolve into vipers, God will treat us like the Pharisees. Today, let us reflect carefully on ourselves. Do we still have many things to keep and obey?

If there are still many things inside us that have not been driven out, let us continue to drive them out today. Do not tolerate them, do not leave them behind. Perhaps it will take a long time for you to completely drive them out. Perhaps it will take a long time for you to completely change the worldly system inside you, but you cannot stop because of this. Shouldn't you reflect on yourself like this today?

Remove Self-Righteousness

Actually, among us, some brothers and sisters carry things inside them that are quite deadly. I don't know why they are so afraid, for example, of not doing their job well because it belongs to the worldly system. Why do people not live a noble life? It's because of the worldly system inside them and not knowing **God's promises are very precious.

It doesn't matter what we have or don't have, but we cannot be without God, without relying on God, and without completely surrendering to God. At this time, the Israelites were still very self-righteous, thinking that they had kept the law and had only left them to do labour.

I think the problem with these people lies here. We always have reasons to explain why we are not keeping God's commandments, but no matter what the reason is, it is not a reason in God's eyes. Maybe you don't see far enough. If you ask me, I will tell you that my hope is that all of us brothers and sisters will keep God's commandments, recover the lost land bit by bit, completely drive out the worldly and the devoted things inside us, and let us enjoy the promised land and the abundance of milk and honey that God has given us.

I think this is a crucial matter. Among us brothers and sisters, I know that everyone is quite good, but with this strict attitude, even when Joshua was still alive, it was like this. After Joshua died, how much more indulgent would they be? In the end, even in the Book of Judges, God personally told the Israelites that He was angry with them and had decided not to drive out these Canaanites but to let them stay and become a thorn in the flesh and a nail in the bones of the Israelites.

Thoroughly Deal with the Not Rigorous Attitude.

For those who come among us, I give you a word: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near!" We have walked the wrong path in the past, but today we must walk the right path. I have met many Christians who are self-righteous and think their spiritual life is good. However, what they lack is a resolute attitude, a pursuit of righteousness, and the constant drive to completely drive out the Canaanites within us and to completely deal with the worldly things that make God angry within us.

If you are a Christian who comes among us with your problems and diseases and wants to seek a solution through prayer, I encourage you to have a clear understanding. It's very simple: because we haven't been careful to follow and obey, from now on, we need to deal with the not-rigorous attitude of not implementing God's words within us and start becoming a rigorous person, carefully reading the Bible, and understanding God's will.

Although we often talk about the doctrine of Mingding, we may not be accurate enough, and we are constantly modifying and adjusting. As we understand God more and more, our Chinese theology will become more accurate and closer to God's revelation. But can we hold onto what we receive today?

Do you have a rigorous attitude, carefully examining and not blindly accepting? I don't want you to passively receive; whatever you say, I do; whatever you ask me to do, I do; whatever way you ask me to do it, I do. This is a stubborn and rebellious attitude, not obedience. You need to carefully read God's words, understand them rigorously, and then constantly examine whether what we say is right or wrong.

If what we say is nonsense, you can throw it aside. If what we say seems to make sense, then you need to carefully read the Bible. I don't want you to just listen to my preaching without having read the Bible yourself. I hope you are a person who has a clear understanding of the Bible. You carefully read the Bible, and then when I share, you can see whether what I say is right or wrong.

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