I began reading through Judges this last week and was impressed with this thought.

The Children of Isreal are going into Canaan as was promised.

Judges 1:1-4

-Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
-And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
-And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
-And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

As we continue to read, we see how the different tribes took different approaches to move into their promised land. Some slew the inhabitants before the settled and others just moved in among the people

Judges 1:17-22

-And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
-Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
-And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
-And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
-And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
-And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them.

Judges 1:27-34

-Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
-And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
-Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
-Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
-Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
-But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
-Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.
-And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:

As we read, we can see, when the Children of Isreal defeated the inhabitants and drove them out, that the Lord was with them. This statement is missing from all those that dwelt among the inhabitants.

In Judges 2:1-4 we read God’s response to the Isrealits behavior.

-And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.
-And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
-Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
-And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

I was challenged. When ever we move into Promised Land, whether it is victory over a particular trial, a new position that God wants us to be in, or the ground that we travel each day, we need to first drive out the inhabitants. Those inhabitants are ideas of fear, pride, discontent, distrust, and others that will hinder us from completely taking control of that ground that God has given us. We fight these with belief in God, claiming the promises, confidence in the ministry or direction that God is leading and prayer.

If God has promised you this land, don’t just move in among the inhabitants being content to live with the “Ites.” God won’t go before you, preparing the way for your victory if we have the determination to rid the land of those things which will hinder and distract us from our Salvation.

Go and be strong, fight the enemy, God will drive them out before you and give you victory, if this is your desire.

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