So I’m reading through Joshua, and I come to this verse: As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the sons of Judah could not drive them out; so the Jebusites live with the sons of Judah at Jerusalem until this day. (Joshua 15:63).
I put the Bible down and wondered why Judah couldn’t drive them out. After all, Israel had won extraordinary supernatural victories – not only against Pharaoh’s Egypt, but also against armies such as those of the Amorites, of Heshbon, of Bashan, and many others we read about in the first few chapters of Deuteronomy. Then we read of Israel’s supernatural battles against Jericho and Ai
At every turn, God gave Israel supernatural victories over their enemies. So why could Israel not drive out the Jebusites or later the Caananites?
What’s going on here? With God fighting their battles -- even holding the sun and moon in their places (Joshua 10:12), why could Israel not drive out all the nations occupying the Promised Land?
I think there are a couple reasons. Israel’s national sin is high on the list (see Judges 2:11-23 for an example). But I wonder if weariness is another – weariness of the wandering (they’d been wandering the desert now for 40 years), weariness of the battles, weariness of toiling for what they were promised. And so they gave up the fight, and by default adapted themselves to the surrounding cultures simply because it was easier.
It was a danger Israel faced throughout Old Testament history. It was a danger the fledgling church faced in the first centuries of the New Testament era. And it is no easier for us today in the 21st century.
The fight against our culture of death and moral perversions seems to never end. We gain victory over one enemy, and two more rise up in its place. And then three. And then a dozen.
No wonder weariness seeps over our spirit and it can seem so inviting to simply give up the fight and, by default, adapt ourselves to the culture.
But – and this is an important: What does God want us to do?