“Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.” Joshua 17:12-13
God’s command for Israel when they entered the Promised Land was to deal strongly with the enemy, and destroy the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. We must understand these Canaanites were given, by God, over 400 years to repent and change their ways, yet they did not.
Now, we learn of tribes of Israel opening the door to the enemy of good and right because of their fear of iron chariots and horses; and due to their own weaknesses and lack of faith in God. I do not mean to judge Israel. I find in them the same weakness in myself in dealing with my own enemies within. The horse and chariot was a fierce and very powerful weapon of that day; maybe the most feared and most powerful.
Because of the failure of Israel – in this case the tribe of Manasseh – to drive out, conquer, and destroy the Canaanites they opened the door to allowing their evil (the evil of Canaan) into their own lives, homes, camps, and families.
The point of all of this is that we must work to conquer the enemy. It is a daily struggle. The enemy is not our neighbor. We must fight the enemy of Christ Jesus. That is the devil, Satan, who seeks to steal, to kill, and to destroy all that is righteous, holy, and good. Our fight must begin within our own hearts and minds and lives.
Before we begin to look around for an enemy; let us (those of us who profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior) first look within, and deal with our won sins, our own evil that we have refused to deal with, and put it away. Too much of the time we have buddied up to the devil and opened the door and let him walk in with his evil schemes. Let us wake up.
Let us believe we can defeat him. Believe the Word of God. Let us pray. Let us fight evil within first. It must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).