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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Total Destruction, #6
They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. (Joshua 6:21—NIV)
"But I did obey the LORD," Saul said. "I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal." (I Samuel 15:20,21—NIV)
God had warned the Israelites that if they left any person alive in the land they were to possess, those people would seduce them into sin. This is exactly what happened. The Jews worshiped the gods of the land until they finally were carried away to Babylon and the Temple destroyed.
There is a parallel, as stated previously, between the invasion of Canaan and our taking of the Kingdom of God.
First, we know the Lord God on the cross of Calvary delivered the enemy into our hand. The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary destroyed the authority of Satan over those who put their trust in Christ. The Lord Jesus destroyed Satan's authority over us as far as guilt is concerned, and also as far as slavery to sin is concerned.
The removal of guilt has been taught clearly by the Christian ministry throughout the centuries. The removal of slavery to sin has not been taught with anywhere near the same thoroughness that has been true of the removal of guilt.
When we believe in Christ our sins are forgiven. So far so good.
But in addition, when we believe in Christ we have the authority and power to be delivered from slavery to sin.
In many instances we Christians have not understood that part of our salvation includes pressing forward until the enemy has been overcome.
However, there still is a third step. Once we gain the upper hand over the enemy we are to totally destroy him. This the Israelites were loath to do, and they have suffered through the centuries as a result.
They are an example to us of the folly of not doing exactly what God has told us to do.
Let us say we are sinning against God and our wife by committing adultery.
When we come to God, confessing and renouncing our sin, God forgives us. God already has made on the cross complete provision for forgiveness.
Next God enables us to stop committing adultery. This we manage to do by praying and making an effort.
We have been forgiven. We have ceased committing adultery. It is what we do after this that is vitally important.
We must take an attitude toward all forms of unlawful sexual behavior, including pornography, office flirtations, and filthy speech and jokes. We must destroy this enemy totally.
The Israelites, because they were tired of fighting, or fearful, or sympathetic toward the inhabitants of the land, fought against them until they gained the upper hand. But they did not finish the job. They left the Canaanites alive, intermarried with them, and began to worship their gods.
Soon the Jews were worshiping the Baals and the Asherah poles, and were burning their children as an offering to Molech. Why? Because they did not destroy the enemy as God told them to.
To be continued.