“And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.” (Joshua 14:19-12, NKJV).
I want to focus on some things in this story which may be hard to understand for Christians today, who don’t realize what covenant they’re living under. The Bible says, “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17, ESV).
After 40 years of wandering through the desert between Israel and Egypt – a walk that should have only taken a few weeks – God was determined to fulfill the promise He’d made to Abraham, which was that through him, a blessed people would come forth and that He would give them their own land. Additionally, and of primary importance, God was establishing a people through which His Messiah would come and save all mankind, both Jew and Gentile, from their sins.
However, in order for the Israelites to receive their land, they would have to drive out other heathen people groups who were not serving God and didn’t know Him. You might think that sounds a bit too much like the Crusades. No, those were handled wrong to begin with. Under the New Covenant, a believer’s job is to boldly go and love people and share the Good News of the Gospel, with signs and wonders.
But back to our story. In order for the people to possess their God-given land, they must drive out, “the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. (Joshua 9:1-2, ESV). These were people groups that, should they co-exist, their heathen lifestyles would dilute the faith of the Israelites, or worse, lead them to worship their false gods and potentially delay God’s timetable.
“Do not be deceived, ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’ ” (1 Corinthians 15:33, ESV). In today’s society, why do you think behavior is like it is? It is primarily because the devil begins his work decades out to subtly come in, like yeast, and over time, affect the whole lump. He has successfully done this through entertainment, sexual perversion, abortion and even in the church.
Can you imagine if the current trend of transgender politics emerged in the 1950’s? There is no way it would have been accepted. Can you imagine if the State of New York attempted to pass a law allowing the abortion of new born babies decades ago? It would never have happened. In part, because the church was a power house in those days. While revival is spreading, where the church abates, darkness prevails.
I believe God is calling the church to wake up and take their place. Jesus promised, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18, ESV). More next week!
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Rob Granger and his wife, Becky, serve as Executive Pastors of Grace Church San Marcos under Senior Pastors Brian and Melissa Bauer. Located at 855 E. Barham Drive, San Marcos, Grace San Marcos meets at 10 a.m. Sundays and 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays with meetings for youth, children and other groups scheduled throughout the week. Visit www.gracesanmarcos.net for further information.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Times-Advocate.