Friday, August 05, 2011
DRIVING OUT THE KENA’ANITES
Numbers/Bemiḏbar 33:50-56 & Deuteronomy/Deḇarim 7:1-5
Shabbat Shalom to you all, praise the Mighty name of יהוה our Elohim. It is always good for us to come together and be assembled as one in His presence, aměn!
Qorintiyim Bět/2 Corinthians 6: 14-7:1 “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness? And what fellowship has light with darkness? 15 And what agreement has Messiah with Beliya‘al? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? 16 And what union has the Dwelling Place of Elohim with idols? For you are a Dwelling Place of the living Elohim, as Elohim has said, “I shall dwell in them and walk among them, and I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people.” 17 Therefore, “Come out from among them and be separate, says יהוה, and do not touch what is unclean, and I shall receive you. 18 “And I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me, says יהוה the Almighty.” 7:1 Having, then, these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting set-apartness in the fear of Elohim.”
Cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit and perfect set-apartness – that is what we are to be doing. We live in a world that is corrupt and wicked and to walk set-apart is not always easy, but as children of the Most High we are to get rid of and come out of all that has and that which still does defile us. We have these great promises that are yes in Messiah and so what I want us to talk about tonight is how we are to truly walk as set-apart children that we may enter in to His Promises that are sure for us. This week’s Torah portion that we will go through in the morning is from Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33-36 and is known as ‘masěi’ or ‘journeys’ as it looks at the journeys or stages of Yisra’ĕl’s Wilderness journey from Ra‘meses in Mitsrayim to the desert plains of Moaḇ by the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo and the instructions for tribal allotment in the Promised Land. I want to speak about what was required of Yisra’ĕl, as they would enter into the Promised Land in order to fully inherit and possess the Land and what that speaks to us still today as we seek to possess the promises of יהוה, in a message tonight called, “Driving out the Kenaʽanites”.
Please turn with me to Numbers/Bemiḏbar 33:50-56 and then we will read Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 7:1-5 (Read).
Yisra’ĕl had now been 42 years in the Wilderness (yes 42 as it was after 2 years that they had the bad report from the 10 spies and told that they would be 40 years as wanderers – 1 year for every day the spied out the land - Numbers/Bemiḏbar 14:33-34) and had 42 stops or stages whereby we can learn a great deal from each point in their journey as we sojourn here awaiting our return to the Promised Land. But before Yisra’ĕl could take full possession of the Promised Land they had to destroy 7 nations that were greater and mightier as them, as יהוה would deliver them up before Yisra’ĕl – Yisra’ĕl still had a great part to play in possessing that which יהוה had promised and had given. And this still speaks very clearly to us today in that we too, as children of Yisra’ĕl, grafted in to the covenants of Promise by the Blood of יהושע, have to defeat and destroy these very same nations, spiritually and metaphorically speaking in order for us to enter in to our spiritual position and possession. And so tonight I want to look at the 7 nations and what they represent for us today, as they clearly represent for us those things that we need to defeat, and conquer that which stands against us in our set-apart walk. And so when we begin to look at the significance of each one of these 7 ‘stronger’ nations we can begin to understand that which we are to war against and destroy, as we engage in daily spiritual warfare, defeating those things that often are keeping us from fully walking in and embracing the Promises of Elohim!
When we look more intently at the verses we have just read, we understand even more how these verses also help us in understanding the process of the counting of the omer, which we have discussed recently in looking at the process from Matzot to Shavuot and how we become a unified body presentable unto Elohim. And this process of defeating those things that stand as enemies against us are key to our restoration from being ‘Lo-Ammi’ (meaning ‘not My people) to being called sons of the living Ěl. This we cannot do on our own, as it is only by Him and in Him and through Him that we are truly able to overcome these 7 greater nations or figuratively strongholds that threaten our ability to possess.
I want us to look at these 7 nations individually and see just how many of us have been under the authority of these nations so to speak and how by His Mighty Hand that goes before us and is over us, that we are to in fact dispossess them in order to possess that which He gives us freely by His favour.
So we need to conquer Kenaʽan in our lives and drive out all the inhabitants – that is we are to drive out these things which may have had residence over our lives and for some may still do and the only way to effectively deal with them is to drive them out. This is not just a ‘one way we could do it’ approach if we do not come up with a better way to do it ourselves, no – this is the only way – because יהוה has commanded it! Conquering Kenaʽan is not easy and it is not for the fainthearted – as we continue to walk in the Promises of Elohim we must realise that it is a road of battles, battles that we can overcome as יהוה delivers our enemies up before us in order that we may utterly destroy them! As we look intently in to the mirror of the Word we get to see what needs to be dealt with and through His Word He delivers up that which we need to destroy. Yisra’ĕl was not just handed over the Land – they had battles to fight – with sword and shield!
And so too do we today – sword and shield – that is the Word and by faith – in other words – faith in the Word – that is active faith in the Living Word – a faith in Elohim that works and does the good works prepared in advance for us to do – that is to walk in His instructions (Torah) as we ‘work out’ our salvation with fear and trembling, obeying His every Word as we take ground little by little! Yisra’ĕl won battles when they obeyed the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts – יהוה of Hosts is His Name! And so too do we need to obey Him as we walk in יהושע Messiah and tear down strongholds and destroy sin. For this we must not hesitate – do not hesitate to clear out sin in your life! Often some sin is only revealed as you look intently into His Word and by His instructions you recognise that there is sin, which is lawlessness, in your life and so He delivers it up before you in order that YOU destroy it! The bottom line is this “DESTROY OR BE DESTROYED!”
We MUST drive out – it is a command! Every bit of sin/lawlessness must be slaughtered – not a single sin is to be tolerated – so from the perspective of Yisra’ĕl here it was an attitude of ‘off with their heads’ and ‘a spear through their hearts’ – they were all to die! Sin is our enemy and it must be killed – יהושע has paid the price for our sin and so in Him we have the ability to destroy that which He has delivered us from and that which through the Word He exposes in our lives. Sin is our enemy and as the Word tells us that sin is lawlessness and therefore – lawless living styles must be destroyed!
Romiyim/Romans 8:5-8 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit. 6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim, neither indeed is it able, 8 and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.”
Before we look at each of these nations I want to drive home the necessity of destroying that which is not of Elohim in your life, and in order to do that let us briefly look at the strong words used here in these passages – strong active words:
We see the following words being used:
1 - Drive out – H3423 יָרֵשׁ - ‘yaresh’ – which means ‘to dispossess, drive out, expel, disinherit, bring to ruin, destroy’, and can also means ‘to take possession of an inheritance, occupy or seize’. What this in a sense means is that we are to dispossess or disinherit in order to possess and inherit – make sense? We have inherited a whole lot of lies – lies that have caused us to sin and be lawless and so we need to dispossess and disinherit those very lies and take back ground that is rightfully ours as our inheritance in Messiah, aměn!
2 – Destroy – H6 אָבַד – ‘abad’ – means ‘to perish, destroy, lose, put to death, blot out, do away with, to give up as lost, vanish, be lost or strayed’. What this word means for us is simply this – we need to put to death the deeds of the body as we live by the Spirit. We are to do away with and count it all as lost all those things that we know are not right, or else we may just be destroyed.
3 - Lay waste – H8045 שָׁמַד – ‘shamad’ – means ‘to be exterminated or destroyed, eradicate, annihilate, decimate, overthrow and get rid of’.
4 – Smite – H5221 נָכָה ‘nakah’ – means ‘strike, make physical contact with a blow, cause the destruction of an object, strike with the mouth of the sword, kill’.
5 - Put under the ban – H2763 חָרַם ‘charam’ – means ‘to ban, utterly destroy’ as well as ‘devote to Elohim, which (once given) must then be destroyed so there will be no human use made of it’.
6 - Break down – H5422 נָתַץ ‘nathats’ – means ‘break down, pull down, demolish, i.e., make physical impact on an object which results in its destruction, shatter, tear down’. This word is used in respect to their altars
7 – Smash – H7665 - שָׁבַר‘shabar’ - means ‘break in pieces, crush, shatter’. This is what they were to do to the pillars
8 - Cut Down – H1438 גָּדַע ‘gada’ – means ‘cut down, chop, break down, cast down’.
At this point you may be asking why am I giving all these Hebrew words, for you know what destroy means – well the reason for all the words is merely to emphasise the strength of action required in dealing with that that must be destroyed, for too many today take a half-hearted approach at trying to deal with sin and continually fail in walking in victory as the sin ends up destroying them because they didn’t take the necessary action required!
They were to utterly destroy the enemy and anything that would resemble or cause remembrance of them by not only destroying the people but also all their altars and images etc. – in other words they had to ‘clean house’. Many of you can relate to this, especially over the last year as you have had to clean your house or in Afrikaans ‘maak skoon jou huis’ by destroying all those things that relate to pagan worship and were ignorantly and conveniently collected over the years. We must not have anything before יהוה that is in His eyes an abomination – no matter how much you may like it – If it is an abomination unto יהוה it must be an abomination unto you! How many of you still have things in your home that must go? Things like ‘crosses and hearts and imagery that is so easily portrayed as acceptable today, even in Christianity yet have its roots in pagan idolatry! If you don’t destroy them they will destroy you!
In Verse 53 of Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33 we see the clear results of all this much needed obedient destroying of the enemy – you shall possess and that is possess that which He has given. In other words you shall ‘take the gift’. Salvation is a free gift and while it is free and we cannot earn it, we still need to take possession of it by driving out that which does not belong!
יהוה gave Yisra’ĕl the land, yet they still had to fight for what was given to them in order to fully take possession. How we take possession of that which He has freely given us is to fight the good fight of faith – that is a working faith that obeys and follows the instructions (Torah) of Elohim – in other words we work out our salvation with fear and trembling through loving obedience in living a Torah observant life – It is the Torah – The Living Word that is going to help you destroy the enemy before you – and we are to take courage for His Word is sure and His Word is sharper than a double edged sword as it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart and therefore equipping us to stay on the narrow path of life!
In verse 54 we see the instruction on dividing the land by lot, which also shows that we each have a part to play and we each have an inheritance for which we are to labour and journey together for and fight for each other as we help each other in the battles of life!
Verse 55 is very clear – if we do not possess then that which we should have dealt with will become pricks in your eyes and thorns in your side. Now the last thing we want is pricks in our eyes and thorns on our sides – this speaks of the enemy or sin that is not dealt with will become a snare to you, causing your eyesight to be hindered unable to see the Truth as it will become veiled in lies and compromise; and causing you to be hindered in your walk – when there is a thorn in the flesh or in your side then the ability to walk upright is hindered. We are to walk upright and set-apart lives – he who has eyes to see and ears to hear, hear what the Word is saying here!
We are a set-apart people commanded to live set-apart lives and so in doing this we are to be careful about the company we keep!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 24:1 “Do not envy evil men, nor desire to be with them.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be led astray, “Evil company corrupts good habits.”
And so now as we look at the 7 nations that occupied the Promised Land – the 7 nations that needed to be destroyed, may we be encouraged to take action in our determined walk of living set-apart as a people of Elohim, as His treasured possession!
The Kenaʽanites as a whole represents that which may not always be blatantly pagan, however it is not of the Kingdom of Elohim – it represents for us the things of the world in general.
Let’s now look at each nation and the significance of their name and what meaning it may carry for us today and what spirit each one often carries with it:
1 – Ḥittites – H2850 - meaning “sons of Ḥeth” or “terror”. So the name carries also the meaning of fear, and the effects of fear imposed by the enemy can be terror, being tormented, depression and deceit. What we must do in conquering the enemy is clear - we must first conquer fear. The Ḥittites speak of that which uses deceit into causing us to be afraid and terrorise us into doing what they want or they motivate people to follow through fear tactics! The church has certainly succeeded in many ways in this regard as it has motivated people to follow the broad path of Christianity by using the prospect of escaping hellfire and judgement if they do not, and so they teach and give a gross picture of many who will be poked forever by a hot fork – this is a lie – read Revelation and see what happens – those who are not written in the Book of Life are thrown into the fire and are consumed – gone forever – this is the second death. Death is death – how can you be dead and still be ‘alive’ being ‘punished through eternal punishment!!! Terror is used as a tactic. Deceit is also a major part of what this nation represents and we know just how the Church has turned the favour or ‘grace’ of Elohim into a licence to sin or be lawless – they have distorted the ‘Besorah’, which is the “Good News’ for a false grace ‘gospel’ – where gospel actually means to place one under a spell and in so doing they teach people to search the Word to see what they can get out of it as opposed to seeking what Elohim requires of them!
So we must conquer fear of the enemy by walking in the Truth by faith in Elohim! What ‘fears’ do you have – fear of failure – fear of lack – fear of others? Be strong and courageous as you put your trust in יהוה!!!
2 – Girgashites – H1622 – means “dwelling on a clayey soil” or ‘clay dwellers’ or ‘unsure foundation’. They can also give us the picture of one who is elusive – one who ducks and dives and avoids the Truth in every way as they do not have a sure foundation! They will avoid the Truth and use shaky foundations as their reality and attempt to retain their authority through mysteries and mysticism which only reveals cracks later on. In these last days where truth twisting deception is ever increasing and the pressure to follow traditions of men is being enforced, we must be careful and responsible for the Truth that יהוה has given us and stay firm on our sure solid foundation and Rock – יהושע Messiah. On clayey soil – they are those who focus on earthliness and therefore walk by what they can see and have no belief in what cannot be seen.
We are to walk by faith and not by sight as our faith is on a rock solid foundation. Girgashites are analytical people who base their life decisions on the pros and cons that their minds are able to perceive and rely solely on human wisdom and do their own will based on what their mind perceives is best for them. We are to rely on יהוה and set our eyes on that which is to come! Girgashites represents those who are fruitless, and are drawn away and enticed and represents those who are part of the great falling away! Do not be enticed or drawn away by lust of the flesh!
How sure are your foundations in Messiah? Do you rely too much on the flesh and are you enticed and drawn away by earthly pleasures that only drain you and deplete you of your faith? Destroy any unsure foundations and lust for pleasure in the flesh!!!
3 – Amorites – H567 - meaning “boaster”. The Amorites, or Emori, were the biggest and strongest people in Kenaʽan. They were the ‘mountain people’ which speaks of the heights and give a picture of the tall ones or renowned ones – people who love self exaltation. They are the prominent speakers or rather the ‘big mouths’ and ‘know it all’s’. They desire knowledge just to be superior to others and we know that ‘just’ knowledge without true application simply puffs up and pride becomes the result. Isn’t pride the strongest of strongholds within each of us? Love builds up and love for Elohim is to guard to do all He commands – so love in action that builds is the correct application of knowledge. Watch out for the ‘smooth talkers’ and the big talkers! Amorites is a picture also of those who are arrogant and boastful in their speech, which always challenge everyone and want the last say and simply speaks of a form of rebellion.
How is your speech? Do you always want to be right, because you think you know it all? Kill any pride that may set in, quickly before it takes root!
4 – Kenaʽanites – H3669 – means ‘zealous, lowlands people, brought down, defeated or made low’. It represents for us a resorting to a low life in respect to addictions and perversions and exaggerations. Seḏom and Amorah are portrayed as Kenaʽanite cities and we know all the low life stuff that went on there! This also pictures for us the battle against depression and anxiety and hopelessness. Are you struggling with anxiety and have little hope? Destroy it with faith in the One who knows what you need and do not worry – throw off anxiety and keep your eyes fixed on the Blessed hope we have in Messiah! They also represent those who seek to gain something for themselves by means of being people pleasers. They are people pleasers and will resort to very low and degrading means in order to do that. Herod’s daughter ‘danced’ here way to receiving what she wanted in getting Yoḥanan the immerser head cut off, by pleasing the fleshly sense of Herod. She ‘prostituted herself to get her way and this is what this spirit will do – cause you to resort to low life actions in order to get what you want as well as to please others as you do not want to feel out! We are to please Elohim not be man-pleasers!
5 – Perizzites – H6522 – means ‘belonging to a village’ or ‘rustic village’ and can mean ‘having a breach in the wall’. In understanding village as being a small place we get the picture here of having a limited vision, laziness or low self-esteem and no ‘boundaries’. The effects of this can result in isolation, division, separation, independence and becoming disconnected. Many who carry this spirit are divisive and do not want any form of confrontation. They will also struggle to submit to any form of authority and will strive to do their own thing. This is not the design of Elohim for His body – we are to be knitted together in unity in Him and when there is a breach in the wall – that is when someone has let their guard down and fallen into sin they should not isolate themselves and run away but should seek refuge with the rest of the body. We are to be repairers of breaches and restore honesty and justice in our relationships and our boundaries have fallen for us in pleasant places – that is we have His Torah to walk in and we must remain in the pleasant boundaries of His Torah!
6 – Ḥiwwites – H2340 – meaning “dwellers of the high place” whose capital was on Mt. Ba’al Hermon (#1179, meaning “lord of destruction”). We must tear down the high places of false worship in our hearts.
7 - Yeḇusites – H2983 - sons of Yebus” H2982, meaning ‘threshing, trample, trodden down, desecrate and utterly reject’. This speaks plainly to rebellion and what it brings about in people. These are the threshers – those who are supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff – but here we get the picture of the suppression of spiritual authority in fellow believers – in other words they refuse to submit to authority that יהוה has ordained and reject instruction from those whom יהוה has called to speak His Word. They represent those who will always criticise and break down all forms of community advancement and adherence to Torah principles. How are you at submitting to authority, especially authority of those that יהוה has appointed? We would do well to not rebel – we know what happened in the Wilderness!!!
All of these nations represent a whole, hence the number 7 and represent a body and one may ask why drive out the whole body – why did Yisra’ĕl have to drive them all out? Well simply because they do not line up with the Torah – they may have a lot to offer, yet their lives did not match up to the plumb line of the Word and if left alone they would cause Yisra’ĕl to stumble – which is exactly what happened! These nations were more powerful and were tightly knit together, however we too are a body that is to be in unity in Messiah and we can, together, overcome them! No matter how perfect the enemies systems may seem to be – let me remind you that there is no eternal covenant in them! There are many large and seemingly powerful church institutions and denominations – yet let us be reminded that there is no covenant with the church or Christianity – the Eternal Covenant is with Yisra’ĕl, and all who are grafted in to the Covenants of Promise through the Blood of Messiah are grafted in to Yisra’ĕl!
Listen our job is very clear – clear out whatever occupies the land! We clear out of ourselves first and then our communities and ultimately the Land. So we must lay claim to the Torah now while we eagerly await our return to the Land when Messiah Himself takes us there and for now He has given us His Word to possess and that we must do and totally dispossess the rights of the enemy!
The message is very straight forward – you got to destroy all sin and compromise, rebellion and pride, fear, apostasy, divisiveness and defilement! Often our lives get entangled in the Kenaʽanite addictions through compromise as convictions are often cast aside in order to please other. Listen we must be willing to ‘cut off’ all relationships with anything or anyone that promotes or harbours any wickedness of the Kenaʽanites – or else we will not possess and they will become a thorn in the flesh.
What things do you still need to destroy, kill, smash, drive out or cut down? As יהוה clears the way before you and he gives that which must be destroyed over to you – do not neglect to do just that! Be strong and of good courage for יהוה is with you and He will not leave you – no go and possess all He has for you as you dispossess that which has no place in your life!
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3-4 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy, 4 because everyone having been born of Elohim overcomes the world. And this is the overcoming that has overcome the world: our belief.”