So how do we live victoriously in the face of stubborn enemies? Let us learn from the tribes of Israel. You see the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh also had a similar challenge to Judah. Here’s what we learn:
1. We must learn how to put the enemies to work for us (Josh. 16:10) “…to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but ARE REQUIRED TO DO FORCED LABOR.” That is, we can ask ourselves “What can I learn from this exprience? How can I use this to improve? The people of Ephraim put their enemies to work for their Ephram’s benefit. John Maxwell reminds us that “sometimes we fail and sometimes we learn.”
2. Sometimes the only way to overcome a difficult challenge is to grow (Josh. 17:12-13). “Yet the Manassites were not able to occupy these towns, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that region. 13 However, WHEN THE ISRAELITES GREW STRONGER, THEY SUBJECTED THE CAANITES TO FORCED LABOR labor but did not drive them out completely.” Enemies/challenges that seem insurmountable at one stage of our Christian lives seem minor and insignificant to us when we have grown and matured. Our response to our enemies is a reflection of our level of maturity.
3. To live victoriously we need to know who we are. (Josh. 17:17-18 “But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—“YOU ARE NUMEROUS AND VERY POWERFUL… Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, YOU CAN DRIVE THEM OUT.” It is still true that we “can do all things through Christ” (Phil 4:13); “If (since) God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31); “in all these things we are more than conqueror through him who loved us” (Rom. 8:37); “But thanks to God who always leads us in triumph ins Christ….” (2 Cor. 2:14 NKJV).