Deuteronomy 7 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“The L_rd your G_d will drive out these nations before you little by little. You will not be able to destroy them all at once; otherwise, the wild animals will become too numerous for you. The L_rd your G_d will give them over to you and throw them into a great confusion until they are completely destroyed.” Deut 7: 22-23
How do you eat an elephant? One-bite-at-a-time.
Perhaps, someone will approach you today with this challenge: “Let’s eat an elephant.” You’d think they were crazy!! But what if they said, “We’re going to eat as much elephant we can, today. Then, we’ll put the rest in the freezer. We’ll keep eating elephant every day, and in a year we’ll have eaten it all.”
That’s a reasonable plan, primarily because humans don’t have the capacity to hold a whole elephant in their stomachs!
The inhabitants of Canaan were Israel’s “elephant”. They were bigger and stronger than Israel, but that wasn’t why G_d delayed Israel’s conquering them. G_d destroyed Egypt in a day and He could destroy any nation, anyday if He desired.. Israel had to learn that G_d’s promise could be trusted, even if gratification was delayed. It was a test of faith, of patiently enduring.
G_d staggered Israel’s conquests for practical reasons, as well. For instance, millions of rotting corpses would attract wild animals. These beasts would grow & multiply on the flesh of the slain. Having developed a heightened taste for humans, these animals would have become too numerous and voracious for the Israelites. That’s just one example…
Our generation could learn much from this chapter. First off, deliverance (eternal salvation) does not mean your spiritual battles are over. In many ways, they’ve just begun. It’s not like you were resisting the flesh much before you were saved by Messiah.
The “former inhabitants” of our flesh, are the carnal fleshly desires we were once enslaved to. Once delivered from their authority, the L_rd gives us the command to drive-out those old desires, thoughts, & actions.
The new believer is much like Yeshua’s friend, Lazarus. Once Lazarus was raised from the dead, Yeshua charged Lazarus’ friends to take off his “grave clothes”. Little-by-little, layer-upon-layer, believers must fight to rid ourselves of our “old masters”.
Here’s the encouragement: If you fight the battle as He commands, the L_rd ENSURES your victory. It shouldn’t be enough to have your eternity secured by grace through faith. G_d also wants us to enjoy abundant life on earth. Sometimes, abundant life must be seized through personal spiritual battle. G_d supplies the victory when we employ faithful perseverance to see the balttle won.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, June 19, 2014