Unfinished Business

The territory of the people of Ephraim by their clans was as follows: the boundary of their inheritance on the east was Ataroth-addar as far as Upper Beth-horon, and the boundary goes from there to the sea. On the north is Michmethath. Then on the east the boundary turns around toward Taanath-shiloh and passes along beyond it on the east to Janoah, then it goes down from Janoah to Ataroth and to Naarah, and touches Jericho, ending at the Jordan. From Tappuah the boundary goes westward to the brook Kanah and ends at the sea. Such is the inheritance of the tribe of the people of Ephraim by their clans, together with the towns that were set apart for the people of Ephraim within the inheritance of the Manassites, all those towns with their villages. 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. Joshua 16:5-10.

God gave this land to the Hebrews. God was judging the idol worshippers who lived there by sending the Hebrews to wipe them out. But it didn’t get done. Instead of obeying, they modified God’s command to use the Canaanites as forced labor. Canaanites stay in the land, we get slaves: win-win!

Failing to give out or kill the inhabitants was a mistake that came back to bite them over and over. Generations of enemies who want them dead persist to this day.

Ours is not a land based religion anymore. And we convert our enemies instead of kill them. But when we stop converting and become comfortable leaving them as enemies of God, they begin to oppress us. Our failure to obey the great commission, and to just circle the wagons, has left us like the Alamo: surrounded and facing extinction.

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