It must have sounded strange at first when God said to the children of Israel, “I have a promised land for you. It is a place of victory and provision and peace. It is your inheritance as My children. And oh, by the way, there are seven nations greater and fiercer than you there, and I would like you to drive them out of your land.” The first generation said, “We’ll pass on that one, God.” They chose to die in the desert rather than to face their enemies. However, there arose another generation of leaders and people that had a “possessing mentality.” They would not be denied their God-given inheritance!
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.
“For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 7:1-6)
These seven tribes are all types of the seven enemies of the Joshua Generation. The greatest struggles the church must face before she inherits her place of victory and prosperity are internal, not external. Before we can truly live in our Promised Land and change the world for God, we must individually, and then corporately, defeat and drive out of our lives these seven greatest enemies.
We find these seven enemies in Deuteronomy 20:16-18:
“But of the cities of these peoples which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you, lest they teach you to do according to all their abominations which they have done for their gods, and you sin against the Lord your God.”
The Lord knows the destructive power of compromise, and He has commanded us to live uncompromisingly before Him. The compromising Christian is the one who refuses to confront and conquer those enemies of God. Compromise always brings defeat in our lives, and it also offends God.
“Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess. And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your families; to the larger you shall give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give a smaller inheritance; there everyone’s inheritance shall be whatever falls to him by lot. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’” (Numbers 33:51-56)