Entering Canaan // Numbers 33:38-56
First Conquests (33:38–49)
Aaron’s death on Mount Hor is recorded in verses 38–39 as a reminder that Moses, too, will die before entering the Promised Land in accordance with God’s judgment for his disobedience at the waters of Meribah. Verses 40–49 go on to list the places where the Israelites had victory over their enemies and where they set up camp on the way to Moab. The LORD delivered into their hands the Canaanite king of Arad, Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og king of Bashan, and they took possession of the conquered land. These earlier victories were a warm-up for the many battles the Israelites would face in Canaan, and through them the LORD demonstrated His great power and faithfulness.
No Compromise (33:50–56)
The LORD commands the Israelites to drive out the wicked inhabitants of Canaan and destroy all their idols and high places. Some may consider it cruel of God to order the complete destruction of the Canaanites, but He does this because He knows the corrupting influence they will have on His people if they are allowed to live. This is a paradigm of life we should embrace, too. This “no compromise” attitude is how followers of Christ must deal with worldliness in order to live in victory. The NIV Life Application Study Bible pointedly states, “To move in and possess the new life, we must drive out sinful thoughts and practices to make room for the new.” To permanently remove the weeds of wickedness, we must pull out the roots.
– Look back on your life at the “victory moments” where God pulled through for you. What were some challenges, sins, or circumstances over which God gave you victory?
– Are you struggling with a habitual sin? Are you allowing worldly influences to corrupt your heart? Ask God to uproot the very core of your sin so that your cycle of struggle can be brought to an end.
A LETTER TO GOD:
Lord, search me and examine me to expose the idols in my heart. Forgive me for worshiping lesser gods, and help me replace these idols with a greater love for You. I want to live for You alone. In Jesus’ name. Amen.