Summary: God’s command to Israel to drive out every idol and every idolater from Canaan has a definite meaning to every Christian. Drive out every sin.
DRIVE OUT SIN OR IT WILL DRIVE YOU!
One of the greatest problems that I see in the church is that fact that too many people follow the same path that Israel followed when they first entered into the Promised Land.
They were quick to forget the great miracles of deliverance that God had given them and they were quick to pick up the habits of those who occupied the land.
There isn’t a day that goes by that someone won’t come to me and start talking about the hard time that they are having in serving the Lord.
Just a few days ago, I was taking care of some business at one of the local schools in our area when a young man who attends a church nearby came to me with that very dilemma. These are his words, “I know that I should do better. I know that I need to turn my life around. I know that I can’t keep on going the way I’m going, but it’s just so hard to change.”
You know what, he was right. It is very hard to change. In fact, unless you are washed in the Blood of the Lamb and walking in obedience to God’s Word, you can’t change. You don’t have the power to change. No matter how much will power you may have; no matter how much you attempt to break old habits that keep dragging you down; no matter what you do to try to erase those old memories and past sins; you don’t have the power to do so! If you had that power then Jesus would not have had to go to the cross and die for those sins.
That young man was right! He could not change his own heart. He could erase the guilt that he felt. He could not erase from his memory all the things that he had done that were part of his nature to do.
The worst part of this scenario with this young man is that I know that he attends a Bible believing church and I know that the Word of God is preached to him.
Now you would think that attending a church where the Word of God is preached would help us to overcome sin in our lives and to remain faithful to the House of God and obedient to God’s Word, but attending this church, or any church, won’t make any difference in whether you live a victorious life in Christ or not. It’s not this church; it’s not my preaching; it’s not being around other Christians that will make you over comers. The only thing that this church can do, or I can do, or other brothers and sisters in the Lord can do, is to encourage you, strengthen you, pray for you and watch over you. We have no power to deliver.
If you really want victory in your life; if you really want to live above sin; if you really want to be a consistent Christian with a consistent lifestyle that gives glory to God; if you really want to live the way that God intends for you live; then your only answer is complete abandonment from the things of this world that continually drag you down. You can’t play around with the things of this world and live in victory. It just doesn’t work.
Israel tried to do that same thing and all they did was fail miserably and bring God’s wrath down upon their heads.
Yes God had delivered them from Egypt – a type of sin and bondage that we spoke about a few weeks ago. Now God had brought them through the wilderness, crossed over the River Jordan – a type of the New Birth, or being Born Again of the Spirit of God into a new life as a new man. The old nation of rebellious and faithless Jews was supposed to have been left behind in the wilderness and God brought a new generation – a type of that new man across Jordan, signifying that the old man was buried in baptism and that a new nation had arisen on the other side of Jordan River.
Now they were to walk according to the Word of the Lord that had been given to Moses and then passed on to Joshua.
God had told them to drive out every inhabitant of the Promised Land. He had said that if they would cleanse the land of every idol and every idolater, if they would cut down the groves and altars that were built to honor those idols, and if they would keep themselves pure and obedient to his commandments, that God would help them to be victorious and give them their land just as he had promised to Abraham so many years before. God’s promise had not failed. He had brought them through in his own time and in his own way so that Israel, and the whole world, could only say that it was God’s miracle working power that had done it. The power of man, the arm of the flesh, had no part in God’s deliverance.