Verses 1-10: Since our study in Joshua, we have seen how the Israelites failed to drive all the inhabitants out of Canaan time and again. It has been a recurring theme and one that has not brought consequences until now. The Angel of the Lord came while Joshua was still alive and told the people the consequence: God would no longer drive the people out and they would be a downfall and a hindrance to their lives. At this time, Israel was not so corrupt as they would eventually become. They decided to remain faithful to God and that generation did so. Until the people of Joshua’s generation were alive, they did not forsake God.
What do you think it was like for Joshua, so strong in faith, to hear this decree from the Angel of the Lord?
Verses 11-23: Here we see the corruption of God’s children and it is pitiful. One would think that having been so close in time to the deliverance from Egypt, the acquisition of (most of) Canaan and the godly leadership of Joshua, that they would not descend so deeply into sin. Joshua also had stones in sight to remind the people of God’s blessings. But they decided to serve false gods. God subjected them to the will of the oppressors, giving them up to defeat and slavery. Once He detected a theme of disobedience in Israel, God subjected them to punishment. Israel’s decisions affected God’s decision.
Over time, this corruption developed and snowballed. Israel allowed the sin into their lives with innocent-seeming guises at first, surely. Their inability to wholly finish God’s plan for Canaan caused them so much pain and consequence.
Let’s try to remember Israel when we get close to the pleasing temptations of sin. Let us deny ourselves and look deeper into the future and the home for our infinite souls.
“This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.” II Timothy 2:11-12