The Book of Judges 3 starts with a list of the nations that were left unconquered by Israelites as they settled in Canaan. They are the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Hittites, Amorites, Hivites and Perizzites.
They were left to test the hearts of Israelites and give them first-hand combat experiences.
I believe the God, who is omniscient and omnipotent, still leaves a number of ‘nations’ around us for the same purpose.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV).
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
The Philistines were aggressive and unrelenting. The name Philistines means ‘wallowing’, or to ‘wallow’. We wallow in self-pity, self-deprecation, self-importance, self-indulgence and self-pleasure. This is the enemy we encounter frequently – insistent and unremitting. The ‘Me, I and Myself’ enemy must be vanquished or he will perpetually vandalize our hearts’ vaults.
The Canaanites were cut out from the tree of trade and trafficking. And that is what their name meant – merchant/trafficker. Harpers Bible Dictionary states that the Canaanites enjoyed a reputation as traders. They lived in the land and remained there as long as their trade and profit were good. In modern times, we are still confronted with the same enemy. This enemy swims in greediness and dries in selfishness. The Canaanite does not care how many people are destroyed in the process of making a profit. This enemy only serves God for material benefits. To the Canaanite, God is like Santa Claus – to satisfy selfish wants.
The Hittites had one of the vast and influential empires in the Ancient times. Their name, according to Harpers Bible History, is derived from ‘Heth’ meaning ‘sons of terror’. They inflicted their victims with terror. It is the same case in our days. Fear is continuously nibbling at our faith, hoping one day to eat the whole of it. Fear paralyses every member of our being and stops us from living abundant lives. It has the ability to pervades and pulverize every hope we have.
The name Amorites had its derivation from Hebrew word meaning to ‘speak’ or ‘say’. It appears that the Amorites were great talkers. Probably this involved self-boasting or commanding. Possibly it also involved an overbearing and condescending spirit.
The mouths of fools are their undoing,
and their lips are a snare to their very lives.
The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to the inmost parts.
Proverbs 18:7-8 (NIV)
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names and BDB Theological Dictionary suggest relations between Hivites with the Hebrew noun hawa meaning tent-village. Perizzites has a similar meaning; the villagers. It is the village mentality in us. It is the belief that we are so inadequate that God cannot use us. It is demeaning self due to perceived demerits to the level of self-dismissal. It packages itself in self-humility and markets itself as harmless. It is false humility. Moses and Gideon had succumbed to this spirit but overcame it with time. It is only after this that God used them mightily.
What kinds of nations have been left in your life? Probably Termites!