Here’s a question for us to ponder. Is there such a thing as a partial victory? We could consider a partial victory while in the midst of a feat. But when it’s all said and done, we are either victorious or we’re not. The good news for Christians is, God has given us the complete victory!
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the Lord, “Which tribe should go first to attack the Canaanites?” The Lord answered, “Judah, for I have given them victory over the land.” Judges 1:1-2
Joshua led the Israelites from the wilderness into the land God promised them. He spend the last half of his lifetime securing the land and keeping the people focused on the Lord.
The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel. Joshua 24:31
After Joshua died, it was up to the Israelites to finish driving out the inhabitants of the land. But they didn’t have to go it alone. In fact, the key phrase of this chapter is in today’s verse. God said, “I have given them victory over the land.”
In the first few verses of Judges 1, the nation sought and followed the leading of the Lord. They continually progressed from victory to victory. In other words, they were unstoppable.
Things, however, quickly changed. The title in my Bible for the last 16 verses in this chapter is “Israel Fails to Conquer the Land.” The phrase “failed to drive out ” appears seven times with eight recorded failures.
Failure to receive a Complete Victory
How did that happen? How did they fail when the Lord said he was there to help? Namely, because they didn’t follow through with what the Lord called them to do.
They didn’t get rid of the hindrances that would affect their spiritual well-being. Why? Because they believed they could control them. The Israelites made slaves out of these inhabitants instead of removing them.
They set themselves up to become slaves to the very thing they thought they had control over. God had a reason He wanted the pagan worshipers completely removed. He knew their influence would seep into the lives of His chosen ones.
Do you want to know something? We do the very same type of things as well. We will allow something questionable into our lives. Usually something pleasurable to us.
Our gut feeling says this isn’t good for me. Or it will lead me down the wrong path in my life. Instead of taking it out of your life, you toy with it. Then you retort to that famous phrase, “it won’t hurt anything.”
God Has Given Us Complete Victory
Given time, what we felt we had control over ends up controlling us. Then we go to the blame game. The first one that usually gets blamed is God. We wonder why He allowed this to happen to us.
All along He says to us the same thing He said to the Israelites, I have given
them (you) victory over . . . When we finally realize that truth and have had enough, we give it over to him. Because He makes a complete victory available to each of us.
The Psalmist also wrote about when God had given him the victory. You will enjoy this related post from the Psalms called How To Experience Victory, Healing And Life.
Lord, we totally trust you for all our victories. Each time we fall we need you to pick us up. Help us to stay on our feet.
The book of Judges is filled with victories and defeats. We can learn much from the way God’s people acted in this book. You can start here with Judges 1.
Also check out these other two posts from the book of Judges.
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