The remaining nations are listed in addition to the two reasons why they remained. They remained in order to . . .
- Test the Israelites in their faith and obedience
- Train this new generation for warfare
The gods mentioned in this chapter are Baal and Asherah. Baal was the most worshipped god of the Canaanites often cast as a bull. He symbolized strength and fertility and was the god of agriculture. Asherah was the goddess of the sea and was the female complement to Baal. She was often worshiped by means of wooden pillars and poles. Archaeologists have uncovered many Baal idols in Israel.
"The Hivites are thought to be the Horites who were previously associated with the Upper Mesopotamian kingdom of Mittanni. The Horites who were best known in Joshua’s time were the Gibeonites" (Joshua 9: 7, 17). (Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:384)
Judges 3:7 - 16:31 begin Israel's series of cycles that I explained in the post under Judges 2: sin, servitude, supplication. salvation, and silence. Salvation was always by means of a judge sent by God. The first one is Othniel who had a rich spiritual heritage in that his uncle was Caleb!
"The Spirit of the LORD came upon him" will be a key phrase for many of the judges. It was a "temporary and spontaneous increase of physical, spiritual, or mental strength" (Life Application Bible, p. 381).
The next two judges were Ehud and Shamgar. Ehud was called a deliverer because he delivered Israel from the the Moabites giving them eighty years of peace. The Moabites, Ammorites, and Amelekites were nomadic tribes that lived southeast of Canaan. They were famous for their military skill and raiding abilities. Shamgar saved the Israelites from the Philistines with an ox goad which was a long stick with a flat piece of iron on one side and a sharp point on the other. Archaeologists have found ox goads that were eight feet long!
The Holy Spirit was temporary and spontaneous in the people of the Old Testament. I am thankful that the Spirit of God is living inside of us on a permanent basis because of faith in Jesus Christ. He indwells us at the moment of salvation, and we are given spiritual gifts to use for the glory of God. Our job is not to grieve or squelch Him through disobedience but yield to Him on a moment-by-moment basis!
Print off the picture of the YIELD sign below and put it in a prominent place to remind you to yield to the Holy Spirit on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment basis.
These are some Holy Spirit affirmation verses I pray on a daily basis from Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship by Kenneth Boa:
Filling of the Spirit
Holy Spirit, control me and fill me today:
I was once darkness, but now I am light in You, O Lord. May I walk as a child of light (for the fruit of light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), learning what is pleasing to You (Ephesians 5:8).
As I walk in You, O Spirit, I will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to You, and You, Holy Spirit, desire what is contrary to the flesh; for you oppose each other, so that I may not do the things that I wish. But if I am led by You. I am not under the law (Galatians 5:16).
Since I live in You, Spirit, may I also walk in You (Galatians 5:25).
Fruit of the Spirit
Holy Spirit, may your fruit grow in me:
But your fruit, O Holy Spirit, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:19-23).
I want to glorify the Father by bearing much fruit and so prove to be Christ's disciple (John 15:8).