God appoints service according to the strength He has given (v. 2) but distrust of His power and promise,
lose for us our advantages and run us into a thousand troubles.
1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?
2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.
3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
4 And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
5 And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6 But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
7 And Adoni-bezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.
9 ¶ And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley.
10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjath-arba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher:
12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
14 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?
15 And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.
16 ¶ And the children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah.
18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.
19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
22 ¶ And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Beth-el: and the LORD was with them.
23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Beth-el. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy.
25 And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.
26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day.
27 ¶ Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.
28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
29 ¶ Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
30 ¶ Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
31 ¶ Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
33 ¶ Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became tributaries unto them.
34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries.
36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.
Judges 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Judges 1:1-15 – Renewing the Conquest
The land had been given. There could be no doubt about that. In the ancient covenant which Jehovah had made with Abram, He said: “Unto thy seed have I given this land.” See Genesis 15:18. It had also been conquered and divided by lot, as we learn in Joshua 14:1-5. The portion of Judah is specified in Joshua 15. But notwithstanding all, each tribe had to possess its own, first by the sword, and ultimately by the plow and the spade.
It is not enough to be assured that “our Lord Jesus Christ… hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” We must possess our possessions. By faith, and patience, and daily use, we must appropriate the resources which are stored up in Christ Jesus. See Obadiah 1:17; Ephesians 1:3. Let us not be content with the nether springs of ordinary experience, but let us seek the upper springs that arise hard by the throne of God!
“Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!…
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!” —Through the Bible Day by Day
Judges 1:16 – 2:5 – Flagging in Their Great Task
The conquest of Canaan was very partial. Israel dwelled among the ancient inhabitants of the land, much as the Normans did among the Anglo-Saxons, whom they found in England; and the mixture of the two peoples was the beginning of moral degeneracy and decline in the chosen race. Wherever there was the old-time faith in God, as in the case of Caleb, the land was cleared of the Canaanite; but where God was out, the Canaanite was in.
So it is in the life of the soul. It is intended that the whole should be yielded to Christ, that no evil passion should reign, that no besetting sin should enthrall. But how often Christian people give up the fight! They say that the old Adam is too strong for them, and settle down to a joint-occupation. Let us not yield to reasoning like this! The Lion of Judah can break every chain. By faith in Him we can be more than conquerors! The Holy Spirit strives with the flesh, so that we may not do as otherwise we would. Only give Him the right of way! Sin shall not reign in your mortal body! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Judges 1:27—The Canaanites would dwell in that land.
How persistent evil habits are! They have dwelt in our lives so long that they dislike being dislodged. Why should they quit their dwelling-place and go out into the void? Sometimes, at the beginning of our Christian life, we make a feeble effort against them, and hope to cast them out; but they stubbornly resist. Whenever a remonstrance is addressed to us, we are apt to reply, “Do not find fault; we couldn’t help it. These Canaanites are self-willed and persistent, they would dwell in the land.”
But the one point that Israel should have borne in mind was that they had no right there. The land was not theirs, it had become Israel’s. And, moreover, God was prepared to drive them out; so that his people would have no fighting to do, but only to chase a flying foe. One man was to chase a thousand (Joshua 23:10).
So these evil habits have no right to persist in the believers life. The whole soil of his heart has been made over to the Son of God, and there should be no part left to weeds. “Sin shall not have dominion over you,” said the Apostle (Romans 6:14). Nor is this all. The Holy Spirit is prepared to lust against the flesh, that we may not fulfil it in the lusts thereof, or do the things we otherwise would. The hasty temper may be natural to you: but seeing that your position is Christ is supernatural, this Canaanite must be conquered. There is a complete deliverance possible to all who will open their hearts to the might of the Spirit of God. Talk no more of these Canaanites who would stay in the land; but say of the blessed Spirit, “He is well able to drive them out.” —Our Daily Homily