DRIVING out the ‘ GIANTS’ from our LIVES: And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph--to Ephraim and Manasseh--saying, "You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong." (Josh. 17:17-18)
After the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh had received their adjoining allotments west of the Jordan, they complained to Joshua that they had only one lot (v. 14) and that they were hemmed in by fortresses on the north (v. 16). This was a legitimate complaint since they needed more land to accommodate their huge population (v. 14). Joshua answered the fears of these two half-tribes with an application of the promise of God (1:2–5).
Instead of pulling out some more land territory from the other tribes, Joshua told them to use their combined forces to clear out the forest in their territory all the way to their last boundary line and settle there (v. 15). To address their complaint that there were Canaanites within their borders with chariots of iron (v. 16), Joshua assured them that they had superior power to drive out the Canaanites (v. 18). What Joshua meant was that these half-tribes would not get any additional land but that they must plan to occupy all of the land that had been allotted to them.
These fearful complaints of the children of Joseph formed a strong contrast with the words of Caleb earlier (14:6–15). It appears that the half-tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh had either forgotten or did not believe the God’s word that He had spoken to them earlier through Moses in Deut. 7:17–22 and 20:1. Through these words, God had counseled them not to be afraid of their strong enemy with iron chariots, but remember how God had utterly vanquished the mighty Egyptian army with all their iron chariots, strong horses and a superior army. Their Jehovah God, who had brought them out of Egypt, would be with them as they drive out all the foreign nations and people from the land of their inheritance. They should realize that they can only possess their inheritance by applying their faith in God into action. All they had to do was clear the forest and drive out the Canaanites with God’s help!
We must also claim a godly inheritance for ourselves and for our children. However, in order to possess our godly inheritance and walk in the light of God in our time, we must also drive out the giants from our lives. What are the ‘giants’ in our lives? In brief, any activity or hobby or person or food or even social work that impedes our fulfilling God’s plan in our life can be categorized as a ‘giant’. Everyone has different giants that they have to battle in order to fulfill God’s plan for them. Since these are specific in nature, we have to look inward, do an inventory of how we manage our time daily, and make a list of these giant time-wasters that are neither beneficial for us personally or, beneficial for the extension of God’s kingdom.
Let us understand that Joshua is a type of Christ who always leads His people in victory and triumph. Our victories will result from surrendering to Jesus’ lordship and allowing Him to work through us to overcome our obstacles and adversities. Be assured that regardless of the strength of the enemy, God can and will enable us to prevail over the giants that impedes our progress to achieving God’s will in our lives.
Today, can we put our total trust in God as we make the following resolve that King David made during his lifetime? "My enemies would hound me all day, for there are many who fight against me, O Most High. Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me? When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me. In God (I will praise His word), in the Lord (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Psalms 56:2-4, 9-11)