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Day 23 – Beasts in the Land

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

“I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased

enough to take possession of the land.” Exodus 23:27-30 (NIV)

God gave Moses instructions for how the Israelites were to enter into the Promised Land.  They hadn’t fully comprehended what leaving their captivity would mean, and they hadn’t yet experienced the “unknown” of this new home.

Our lives can be full of chaos and mayhem, most of it may even be caused by our own actions.  It’s tempting to look at everything that’s wrong and choose to not do anything.  It’s simply too overwhelming to see it all, much less try to figure out how to fix it. However, God is so good!  When we decide that we want to leave our captivity (our addictions, our perpetually never-ending sinful patterns, etc.), and make the choice to enter into His Promises, He will put everything back into order.

But we fear the process.  We’ve repented; yet we’re still addicted, on the brink of divorce, or our kids won’t listen to us.  It doesn’t seem like our repentance has made any difference, and we murmur against God or His people.  We choose to listen to Oprah’s advice instead of the wise counsel of God, and our pastors. We become offended, so we stop going to church, stop serving, or stop giving.  We are so decreased, deteriorated, and emaciated by our sin that we can’t possibly overcome the enemy when he comes to snatch the Word away from our hearts. In our state of offense, we cling to those things that hold us in bondage.  Until….

God moves to defeat an addiction, reconcile us to the spouse headed for divorce court, or get the attention of a wayward teen.  Little by little, achingly slow progress is made to strengthen, encourage, and increase us, so that we are strong enough to possess the land into which He has promised to deliver us.  He provides instruction on how to stay and thrive in the land as well:  In verses 32-33, God says:

“Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against Me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.” Exodus 23:32-33 (NIV)

Lord, you know us so well. Identify these enemies and beasts that are occupying our land, and show us that they are indeed being driven out. Help us to remember to shut the door behind them and not allow them admittance back into our lives. May all glory be given to you, King Jesus.

— Jodi Packe

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