“The Lord was with the people of Judah, and they took possession of the hill country.
But they failed to drive out the people living in the plains who had iron chariots.”
But they failed to drive out…what a sad phrase, especially considering it appears seven times in the first chapter! GOD had also used that phrase multiple times since Mt. Sinai, but with promises that HE would drive out the enemy. Moses’ words in Deuteronomy were full of God’s reminders to carefully obey so the enemy would be driven out, and Joshua again repeated God’s drive out promises. So, the Israelites fully knew God’s promises, and yet this chapter says nothing about trusting Him to fulfill them!
Instead, we hear excuses…the enemy was determined to stay…forced them back…would not let them in…and most surprising…the enemy had iron chariots! Had the Israelites forgotten how GOD destroyed ALL of Pharaoh’s chariots in the Red Sea? Had they forgotten the vast horde of chariots GOD defeated when the Northern Kings attacked them? Had they forgotten Joshua’s recent admonition to them, “You WILL drive out the Canaanites…even though they…have iron chariots.” (Josh 17:18)
The Israelites’ failure to possess all their land was not because they lacked promises, but because they lacked faith in the One who gave them.
So, what about the promises God has given me?
Will I have faith in God and His Word, or will I too forget and receive the “failed” stamp?