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What Does the Bible Say about Spiritually Failing?

Man standing under a tunnel of rain

The Book of Judges is a book about heroes. Although they were not perfect and came from different backgrounds, they were submissive to God. It is also a book about sin and what happens to those who fall into sin.

What Does it Mean to Fall into Sin?

The Book of Judges is divided into three sections. Chapters 1:1-3:4 tell how Israel failed with its military, its incomplete conquest of the land, and the religious rebellion of the people.

Chapters 3:5-16:31 depict six periods of punishment of Israel and the rescue by the judges. Chapters 17:1-21:25 tell of Israel’s moral failure, the tribe of Dan’s acceptance of idolatry, and the tribe of Benjamin's war.

The people of Israel had, at last, entered and assumed responsibility for the land that was guaranteed to their predecessors (Genesis 12:7; Exodus 3:16-17). The Book of Judges proceeds with the narrative of this victory, which started in the Book of Joshua.

By God's solidarity, the Israelites had vanquished numerous foes and beaten numerous challenges, however, their work was not yet wrapped up.

They had previously met numerous political and military difficulties effectively, yet confronting spiritual difficulties was more troublesome.

The unholy yet alluring way of life of the Canaanites demonstrated more hazardous than their military force. The Israelites yielded to the tension and undermined their confidence.

If we endeavor to address life's difficulties with human exertion alone, we will realize that the tensions and enticements around us are too incredible to stand up to.

Everybody wants direction in settling on difficult choices. The Israelites were the same. To request this public direction, the elders likely accumulated at the Tabernacle in Shiloh as they had done when the land was separated amongst the tribes (Joshua 18).

There they might have utilized the Urim and Thummim to look for God's responses. These were two stones or plates made by God's guidelines and used to look for his direction in settling on tough choices that encompassed the whole country. They were utilized to remove the chance of human blunder and permit God to settle on the decision.

The Canaanites were all of those who had lived in Canaan (the Promised Land). They resided in city-states where every city had its own administration, armed force, and regulations.

One explanation why Canaan was so challenging to overcome was that every city had to be vanquished independently. There was no single god who could give up the whole country under the control of the Israelites.

Be that as it may, Canaan's most noteworthy danger to Israel was not its military, however, its religion. Canaanite religion romanticized abhorrent characteristics, such as savagery in war, extramarital affairs, egotistical insatiability, and realism.

It was a hedonistic culture. Clearly, the Israelite and Canaanite religions could not exist together.

What Does the Bible Say about Spiritual Failure?

The Book of Joshua recounts a quick and careful victory of the adversary’s armed forces and urban communities, while the Book of Judges appears to propose a more extensive and progressive success.

When the Israelites initially entered the Promised Land (Joshua 1-12), they joined as a one-armed force to pound the occupants until they were too feeble to even think about fighting back.

Then, at that point, after the land was split between the 12 tribes (Joshua 13-24), every tribe was liable for getting out the leftover adversary from its own domain. The Book of Judges recounts their inability to do this.

A few clans were more fruitful than others. Under Joshua, they all started solid, however soon the vast majority of them were diverted to dread, exhaustion, absence of discipline, or in a quest for their own advantages.

Subsequently, their confidence started to disappear, “and every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). For our faith to get by, it should be lived step by step. It should enter each part of our lives.

We ought to be careful with beginning in a strong fashion and afterward getting diverted from our genuine reason, adoring God, and living for him.

At one point, the Israelites cut off the thumbs and large toes of Adoni-bezek to embarrass him and make him insufficient in a fight. Be that as it may, as indicated by God's guidelines for overcoming the Promised Land, he ought to have been killed.

This in itself was blatant disobedience to God’s plan. And, albeit the Israelites vanquished Jerusalem, they did not possess the city until David’s reign (2 Samuel 5:6-10).

Here is a piece about Caleb. This equivalent occasion is recorded in Joshua 15:16-19. Caleb was one of the first Israeli operatives who investigated the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14), and with Joshua, he urged individuals to overcome it. For his loyalty, he was given the place that he decided on.

For what reason did God arrange for the Israelites to drive the Canaanites off of their territory? Albeit the order appears to be awful, the Israelites were under God's command to execute judgment on those individuals.

Over about 700 years sooner, God had let Abraham know that when the Israelites went into the Promised Land, the evil of the local individuals would be prepared for judgment (Genesis 15:16).

Yet, God was not playing favorites with the Israelites, for in the long run they would be seriously rebuffed for becoming like the individuals that they were instructed to drive out (2 Kings 17, 25; Jeremiah 6:18-19; Ezekiel 8).

God is not fractional; all individuals are qualified for God's generous pardoning as well as his firm equity.

A large number of the tribes neglected to drive the Canaanites from their property. For what reason did they not finish the job and totally comply with God's orders? A few options might be the cause of their disobedience.

It very well maybe because of the way that they had been battling for quite a while and they were excessively drained. Albeit the objective was in sight, they were coming up short on discipline and energy to arrive at it.

Or then again, they were anxious about the possibility that the adversary was too strong, the iron chariots appeared to be powerful.

Another explanation could be that the Canaanite religion had contaminated them from the inside. They imagined that they could deal with the enticement and be more prosperous by working with the Canaanites.

Often there are times that we will also neglect to drive sin from our lives. Most frequently we know what to do, yet we simply do not see everything through to completion. This causes a progressive divide in our relationship with God.

Why Does This Matter?

In our spiritual wars, we might become worn out and need to rest, however, we need something other than a break from our work. We need to realize that God loves us and has provided us with a life with purpose. Triumph comes from living as indicated by the purpose according to God.

How much of this sounds like us today? We can see it throughout our society. Many have given in to the world’s temptations, its greed, its sinful desires, and pleasures. We have put everything between ourselves and serving the Lord.

We all need repentance — to get our hearts right with God. Stand and face the enemy, not by our own strength but by the strength of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

For further reading:

Does God See Our Failures?

3 Ways to Overcome Temptation

Prayers for Deliverance from Temptation, Sin, and Evil

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/francescoch


Chris SwansonChris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. Chris is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. During his service, he received numerous awards and citations. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki of 24 years reside in Madison, Alabama. If you are interested in having Chris deliver God's Word at your place of worship, you can reach him here.



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