August 21, 2012

Living With the Enemy

Joshua 15:63; 18:1-7

Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites who were living in Jerusalem.
—Joshua 15:63


Israel had managed to clear enough land to gain territorial control, but a lot of unfinished business remained. Lines had been drawn, but the war was far from over. The Canaanites were not weak or easy prey, and some of them held on fiercely to their local territory. In many cases, they had a military advantage and had better technology for doing battle.

So Israel lived with the enemy.

Living with the enemy of the Lord raises all kinds of questions for believers:

Is the Lord not strong to save?

Are they actually right and we wrong?

Why do they still enjoy all kinds of good things?

Spiritual warfare takes its toll on everyone.

Thankfully, by God’s Spirit, unbelieving enemies sometimes cross over to the Lord’s side, as with Rahab and the apostle Paul (Acts 9). And, sadly, sometimes believers commit treason, as did Achan and Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).

The apostle Paul encourages us to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Ephesians 6:10-11) until the Lord returns and every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10; Revelation 21).

Strengthen me, Lord, to carry the armor of your mighty power and to wield its weapons till the day of your return. Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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