TRAINING IN PROGRESS
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel
In the above verse God had a problem with the Israelites who did not know Him after the generation of Moses passed on. This new generation did not know God’s wonders, miracles and the judgements He revealed to the old generation. Because He is only served by experience (as we learned from the previous post), He needed to train this generation as well so that it gain experience with Him.
‘These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the LORD’s commands, which he had given their forefathers through Moses.’
So God decided to leave some nations for this new generation to fight so they could gain battle experience. Notice that God would have wiped away all the nations so that His precious Israel who not face any problems, however He deliberately left the problems for Israel to deal with them. It was not going to be all milk and honey for this new generation. It was going to be a hard, painful and annoying experience. But it was necessary for their own good and for their growth in God. It was going to bring them to know God in their own lives and to be chastened into good behaviour.
The last verse above states that God wanted to see if they would obey His commands. You see it is very easy to live by the book when everything is going well. It is very easy to obey God when we are in our comfort zone. The challenge is when reality says left and God says right. When we are hard pressed is whereby God can get the correct answer. God wanted to trust the new Israel but only trials were going to help Him to do so.
God also want to trust you as His child but it can not be done through words only. There must be pain and suffering involved that will qualify you to be trusted by God. What is it that you are currently facing? It must train you to have faith in God, therefore, do not allow it to drive you away from God. In your distress seek God, as much as you are hurt and angry. Find God in the midst of your storms. Jonah found God within the belly of a fish under the might seas.
My challenge this morning is that: let us find God in our circumstances. Let us pass the Test and win those battles. The good part is that as you face your nations that are your portion for training, God is there with you. If you invite Him in the battle you will surely win. Halleluai!!!