When Everything or Everyone that Challenges You Isn’t Removed

The 5 rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites…

These are the nations the Lord left to test all of those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan.
— Judges 3:3, NIV

When God doesn’t remove everyone and everything that challenges you…

The Israelites coming out of Egypt knew oppression; the Israelites that Moses, Joshua, and Caleb led knew warfare because there were other nations of people they encountered on their journey to the Promise Land that they had to fight. The Israelites from the time of their exit from Egypt to the death of Joshua knew oppression, they knew warfare, but, they also knew the importance of trusting and obeying God.

By the time of Joshua’s death, a new generation of Israelites had come up, who did not know God as Lord, and all that He had done for their past ancestors.

God has been parenting for thousands of years. He knows what He’s doing with His children.
— Lon Solomon

So, in Judges 3 we see that God allowed other nations of people to live among the Israelites in the Promise Land. God knows what He’s doing with His children, and He knows how best to raise us and grow us as people. He didn’t wipe these various nations all out for 2 reasons:

1-     So that that generation of Israelites would know how to fight…

2-     To test them, to see if they would be obedient to Him.

This week we’ll look at reason 1 and next week we’ll look at reason 2. The writer of Ecclesiastes, in chapter 3 verse 8 tells us: “There is a time for war and a time for peace.” And the Bible is full of situations of war, battle, and conflict from Genesis to Revelation, where there are many accounts of wars.

To engage in war, you have to know how to fight. Now, I’m not condoning that people walk around looking for a fight. We know that those who choose peace are blessed (Matthew 5:9). But, when war does come, you do need to know how to stand your ground. There are times in life when you will have to be firm and know how push back. While God ultimately fights His children’s battles, we have to do our parts as we’re in training.

By these various nations living among the Israelites, they were able to keep their warfare skills sharpened. You can’t simply learn how to fight in just a classroom alone, you have to have experience and go through situations.

This was only so that the generations of the children of Israel might be taught to know war, at lease those who had not formerly known it.
— Judges 3:2

So, what does this have to do with you?-

Whether someone has lied on you and you have to fight to defend your integrity, or you’re facing battles on your job and you have to take a stand, or someone is trying to harm your family and you have to work with the proper authorities for justice, or you have to employ a lawyer to fight your case- whatever it is- when others challenge us and we have push back, we are learning how to fight. And may I add, we stand tallest on our knees. All battles where the Lord of Heaven’s Army is behind your situation, it will only be won when we fight first and foremost in prayer.

You see, when our battles belong to God- from nations having to fight the worst of evil in other nations, to our everyday battles- the fight isn’t really us but the devil unleashing havoc on our lives. But, when we stand firm and stay in prayer, He will come through and bring justice. And in the end God will get the glory, honor and praise, and we will get peace.

Now, I do realize there are many people who have faced the worst evil and have not received justice- those caught in the nastiness of actual wars, those who have not won settlements and they were truly wronged, etc. Rest assured that God sees all and if you don’t get justice this side of heaven there will be a day that God will wrong every right.

Happy Friday!