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The spiritual warfare

The Israelites experienced many battles as they go on towards their journey to reach Canaan, the promise land. One of their struggles comprised of the spiritual warfare since at that time, they build their own world, which was set against God’s creation; During those times the people outgrow their fleshly temptations, talked about their discontentment about their church and discussed about the opposition from Satan, problems about their family and health. Also in that time when Israel is about to enter the land the Canaanites they are being enslaved by a morally degenerate paganism.

With this, having spiritual separateness with God, they were divinely commanded to destroy the Canaanites, and their rights were forfeited for land of Canaan because of their wickedness. God called Joshua to lead the Israelites in military conquest of the land of Canaan, and bespoken him as their leader. The Israelites won the battle and got their victories at the central highlands of Canaan such as the Jordan, Jericho, Ai and Gibeon and they won because God promised to save them.

There were also battles that they did not attack since they made peace with them and those were the Hivites of the Gibeonite tetrapolis. More giants were slain, called the Anakim, (Num. 13:33). The military strength had been broken down specially the major lands when Joshua returned to Gilgal to pursue the northern campaign. Also one of the unconquered land was the the plain of Philistia, on the Mediterranean coast¬line (Josh. 13:1-6). Joshua also defeated the king of Hazor but when it was Sisera’s turn who was the general at that time, he was able to preserve control over Israelite tribes for twenty years.

When Israel’s principal deliverer was a woman named Deborah, the Israelites won the battle and there was victory for Israel and 40 years of peace followed. They won by the strength that God has given them, and they lose by the wickedness that was brought about their being blind to God’s blessing to them. During the period of the judges, the Israelites wail for a king because it has been six years since the invaders which are the Mid¬ianites and all other eastern peoples came to steal Israel’s grain-growing areas. The particular place they invade is the Esdraelon Valley as well as the Mediterranean coastlands (Judges.

6:4). In these times, what the Israelites did was to hide inside the caves and they encounter problems that their livestock and grains are being whipped by these enemies from the east. Since this has happened, Israel had forsaken God so what they do is to worship an icon and built what they called Baal altar with Asherah as a symbol. As a whole, the nation discarded the real source of the grace they are receiving, the blessing that comes to them and the source of strength as they live in a place of suffrage at that time.

Having been blind to worship something that is not supposed to be worshipped, God pull out his protection to them and the blessing that they get everyday of their lives, so the nation experience suffering. The book of Judges shows us that during those times, man inadequately rules himself. It will sum up to the conclusion which can be found in this scripture stating that, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), until they remembered God.

Israelites cried for relief since they do not have a king that time who will rule over them. Since God is merciful, he heard the yell of the people who then asked for deliverance. And so, God provided them Gideon as an answer to their prayers. The first mission of Gideon was to destroy the icon they made with cour¬age and faith (Judg. 6:25-32). In the end, Gideon led the Israelites and won victoriously over the Midianites. While Gideon lived, the country had peace for forty years and let God rule their nation.

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