IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT US (Joshua 5)
Joshua concludes his book with a heartfelt plea to the Jews, asking them to turn from their foreign gods and serve the Lord only (Joshua 24:14-15). The worship of the Canaanite gods was very demonic. Baal, for example, was the number one god. His name means lord, master or owner. He was the god of weather and fertility and his worship was grossly immoral and extremely bloody. The highest-ranking goddess was his mate, Ashtoreth (Judges 2:13; 3:7)’ She is also involved with fertility. Her name has been corrupted to ‘Easter’ and her fertility worship included rabbits, eggs and focus on the spring solstice. God decreed the death penalty on those who served these gods because of their evil, immoral, demon-inspired worship.
LESSON FOR TODAY: The battle for Palestine was not just between the Jews and Canaanites. It was really between God and Satan, the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. The gods of the Canaanites were very evil and demonic and involved in many sexually immoral activities. There were literally thousands of them. Elaborate rites of exorcism were developed by the priests to protect the people from the hordes of demonic spirits which attacked the people with distress and disease. There was much fear involved in these animistic beliefs. These fleshly, sensual forms of worship appealed to the Jews so God was very strict about forbidding His people to have anything to do with them, to destroy them and their possessions, and to stay separated from them (Joshua 24:14-15).
For the next thousand years this battle will continue. Satan will use these false religions to tempt and mislead God’s people, turning them from the One true God and putting them under His judgment. When they worshipped these false idols, they were really worshipping and giving power to the demons behind them (1 Corinthians 10:20). Eventually the Jews will be removed from their land because of this sin, so this plan of Satan’s will ultimately succeed.
The battle between God’s forces and Satan’s forced is fought in heaven, but its reverberations are felt by us on earth. Daniel is a good example of this (Daniel 10:1-14). God sent an angel to answer his prayer but territorial spirits controlling the land where he was praying interrupted the angels and a 3-week long battle ensured until the angel could get through with God’s message for Daniel.
Thus, we see that the conflicts between God’s people and those who represent the enemy are more than just human clashes; they mirror the warfare going on in the heavenlies between God and Satan. It’s not all about us, it’s something much bigger than us!
Take a moment to think about the battles you are currently facing. What difference does it make to see your struggles as a reflection of the battles between god and Satan in the heavenlies? How can that motivate you to persevere and not give up?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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