JUDGES 1

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron. As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak. The Benjamites, however, did not drive out the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites.

But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land. When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely.

Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to live there among them. Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or Nahalol, so these Canaanites lived among them, but Zebulun did subject them to forced labor. Nor did Asher drive out those living in Akko or Sidon or Ahlab or Akzib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob. The Asherites lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land because they did not drive them out.

Neither did Naphtali drive out those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for them. The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain. And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but when the power of the tribes of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor. The boundary of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond.

– Judges 1:19-21 and 1:27-36

Devotion

It’s amazing how quickly the Israelites go from the solid Godly leadership of Joshua to the compromised disobedience recorded in the book of Judges.

Joshua had just made a covenant for the people and they built a monument signifying that ‘We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.’

In today’s reading, notice the repeated phrase: “They failed to drive out the people of”….

The tribes of Israel had compromised God’s command to completely drive out the inhabitants of the land. They failed to fully trust God to give them the whole land.

As a result, the Canaanites were allowed to remain and live among them, becoming a source of temptation and, ultimately, Israel’s downfall. We see repeated examples that incomplete removal of evil means disaster in the end.

As believer’s we must beware of compromising with wickedness. We also, often fail to drive sin from our lives. Many times we know what to do but just don’t follow through. This results in a subtle deterioration of our relationship with God.

Victory comes from living in obedience to his will.

The Big Question

Why, after all of these lessons from scripture and our own lives, do we still try doing things through our own reasoning and strength rather than through God? Can we really achieve victory on our own?

Try to remember a time when you totally gave God one of your problems. What was the result?

Conclude in prayer and silence, reflecting on what you’ve learned.