03/22/18 They Did Not Drive Them Out

READING: Joshua 15-18

“They did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer.”

Joshua 16:10

In the midst of these chapters that deal with allotment of the Promised Land are several verses that sound almost ominous:

  • “But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.” (Josh. 15:63)
  • “However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canaanites have lived in the midst of Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.” (Josh. 16:10)
  • “Yet the people of Manasseh could not take possession of those cities, but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. Now when the people of Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.” (Josh. 17:12-13)
  • The people of Joseph said, “The hill country is not enough for us. Yet all the Canaanites who dwell in the plain have chariots of iron, both those in Bethshean and its villages and those in the Valley of Jezreel.” (Josh. 17:16)

Moses had told the people to be sure to eradicate the Canaanites (Deut. 7:1-2, Josh. 6:17), lest the people in the land draw God’s people into idolatry. God’s judgment on the Canaanites was thus to be severe – but the people did not fully drive them out. The people in the land would remain thorns in their side for some time to come.

I am reminded of the importance of driving all sin out of our lives. We will not live without sin this side of heaven, but we can make deliberate choices that help us to fight and win these battles. As long as we allow the enemy to have at least a foothold in our lives, we can rest assured that we will face more trouble to come.


  • Determine what sins you have chosen to leave in your life, and turn from them.
  • Be aware of any tendency you have to open the door to sin in your life.

PRAYER: “Lord, I don’t want anything displeasing to You in my life. Help me to eradicate it all.”      


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