STRAIGHT LICKS WITH CROOKED STICKS
These first four verses tell us why God left these Canaanite nations in the land after the Children
of Israel had gone there. The Children of Israel had been brought by God out of the land of Egypt into
the land of Canaan. Now the people of God find themselves surrounded by a pagan culture. God's
purpose for the Israelites was that they change their culture and that they bring their culture to a
knowledge of the true God. Rather than change their culture they themselves were changed by the
We are told here in these verses two reasons why God allowed those nations to stay there.
One of the reasons he repeats, he's already told us in chapter 2 about it, was to prove the Children of
Israel. Sometimes God allows problems to remain in our life in order to put us to the test to make us
strong, to challenge us to be what God wants us to be. Unfortunately, the Children of Israel failed the
test of God. They compromise with the Canaanites around them and they wound up serving their gods.
The second reasons we are told in these verses that God allowed those nations to stay was to
teach them war. Notice in verse 2 it says this. The new generation did not know the principles of
spiritual warfare. They did not understand the principles whereby God conducted and God proceeded
in His battles. So they needed to learn war. They needed to learn methods of God. They needed to
learn that sometimes God used unusual people. Sometimes God used out-of-the ordinary methods in
order to win His battles. The battles of the Lord are not won the way we win many of our battles
today. God taught them and used this experience to teach these nations war.
Now in the 5th verse and moving through the rest of the chapter we come to the section that
gives the book of Judges ...
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