Judges 3:1-4 (KJV)
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
Though the responsibility for leaving Canaanites in the land is placed, first upon the tribes of Israel and then upon Joshua, God here assumes that responsibility and lays a purpose for allowing them to remain. We see in this the melding of the free will of man versus the sovereignty of God. Men are responsible to do right before God. Their disobedience, however, in no way foils the plan of God. He has seen it from the beginning and even incorporated it into his good plan.
There are three purposes either stated or implied for leaving these Canaanites in the Promised Land:
To teach Israel
If Israel had no enemy she would forget how to fight. If Israel lost the skills of combat an enemy would surely rise up and take her. It is necessary that a civilized and godly people have a “well regulated militia”.
To prove Israel
An unproven people are an unsure people. No one, including themselves, has any idea what they are or are not capable of, what they do or do not believe who they will or will not follow.
The chasten Israel
When the children of Israel turned from God, He turned their enemies against them. God allowed that enemy to have its way with Israel until she returned to the Lord.
Judges 3:1-4 (KJV) Why My Enemies?
Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program is free to you. E-mail me for a free one month VIP upgrade.