Triumph Over Giants From Within (1)
In Old Testament times, God used His great power through Moses to perform 10 remarkable miracles in Egypt, saving the people of Israel from the hand of Pharaoh, releasing them from a life of slavery and leading them into Canaan, the land of milk and honey. The Israelites were able to escape from their bondage as slaves in Egypt, and in the whole process did not have to face their enemies and battle the Egyptians, because the Lord God personally took care of their adversaries. Then when they entered into the land of Canaan, God directed them to claim this promised land by the hand of Joshua. Throughout this struggle for Canaan, God was with them, fighting with them so that they were victorious over many powerful countries in that area. If the Israelites wanted possession of that fertile land of Canaan, they had to rely on God in their battles to drive out their opponents, the 7 nations of Canaan. ˇ§When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nationsˇXthe Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you - and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.ˇ¨ (Deuteronomy 7:1-2) God instructed them to destroy their enemies totally, so that the people would not make treaties with these Canaanites and follow their behaviour in worshipping and serving other gods, eventually turning away from the Lord. God wanted to use the hand of the Israelites to completely exterminate the 7 nations of Canaan, because they were fully-laden with sin. To the Israelites, the 7 nations of Canaan were powerful foes. Not only were their city walls tall and secure, they had chariots, and were of a great size and descended from giants. The Israelites feared the Anak. They looked on themselves as grasshoppers compared to their enemies, whom they considered giants. (Numbers 13:33) To defeat these giants, they had to rely on God and be brave. God encouraged Joshua as well by saying, ˇ§Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you." (Deuteronomy 31:23)
Just like the Israelites, God had bestowed His great salvation on us by sending His beloved son in human form to this earth, to suffer and die for our sins. Then He used His great power to raise Jesus Christ from death, so that through our faith in Him we are released from the shackles of sin to enjoy freedom, and to gain everlasting life as well. God Himself completed all the work throughout the process of salvation. We have the benefit of all manner of grace through our faith alone. Yet, even after salvation, we must rely on God to overcome all sorts of enemies from without and within, just like the Israelites, before we can enjoy the bounty and rest promised by the Lord. In days past, the Israelites had to totally destroy and drive out their adversaries in their battle with the 7 nations of Canaan. Today, the children of God have to face the foes that come from desires of the flesh to contest the Holy Spirit, such as sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, and orgies etc. Plus the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers and the like. (Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) These enemies are as difficult to confront as the giant Anak. If we cannot gain the upper hand against them, then we will be defeated and dominated by them, just as in the days of the Judges, the Israelites were repressed by their strong Canaanite antagonists. We will not gain true freedom and peace, and it will be hard to attain Godˇ¦s Kingdom in the future as well. I hope that brothers and sisters are not at the stage of being controlled by the aforementioned foes of the body. Yet we must guard against the following strong opponents from within, such as rage, distress, fear, pride, bitterness, greed, envy etc. In the next few issues of the Shepherdˇ¦s Voice, I hope to share with everyone the way to overcome these giants of the inner heart. May the marshal of our salvation, Jesus Christ, continue to lead us in triumph to the end.
ˇ§Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him!ˇ¨ (2 Corinthians 2:14)
By: Daniel To