You’ve been given the gift of the promise and now you need to do your part! Will you walk it out in faith and obedience? Will you allow your life to be anchored by the Word of God? Will you step up and step out to finish and do the work He has called you to do? Will you do it His way? Will you trust Him through everything? Finish Strong!
With Joshua now dead, let’s watch how the people respond to God’s will…
Tribes Possess the Land
1Now it came to pass after the death of Joshua that Bnei-Yisrael inquired of Adonai saying, “Who will be the first to go up for us against the Canaanites to attack them?” 2Adonai said, “Judah will go up. Behold, I have given the land into his hand.” 3Judah then said to his brother Simeon, “Come up with me to my allotted territory, so that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I also will go with you into your allotted territory.” So Simeon went with him. 4When Judah went up, Adonai delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hands; they struck down 10,000 of them at Bezek. 5They found Adoni-bezek in Bezek, engaged him in battle, and defeated the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6Though Adoni-bezek fled, they pursued him, caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his big toes. 7So Adoni-bezek said, “70 kings, having their thumbs and big toes cut off, used to pick up scraps under my table. As I have done, so God has repaid me.” They brought him to Jerusalem and he died there. 8Then the children of Judah attacked Jerusalem, captured it, struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. 9Afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites that dwelt in the hill country, in the Negev and in the lowland. 10Judah then marched against the Canaanites who dwelt in Hebron (the former name of Hebron was Kiriath-arba), and they defeated Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai. 11From there Judah marched against the inhabitants of Debir (the former name of Debir was Kiriath-sepher). 12Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give my daughter Achsah for a wife.” 13So Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger kinsman, captured it. So Caleb gave him his daughter Achsah as a wife. 14Now it came about when she came to him, she had persuaded Othniel to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What do you need?” 15Give me a blessing,” she said. “For you have given me land in the Negev; you should also give me springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the Upper Springs and the Lower Springs. 16The children of the Kenite, Moses’ father-in-law, went up with the children of Judah from the City of Palms to the wilderness of Judah, which is in the Negev of Arad. They went and settled with the people. 17Then Judah went with his brother Simeon, and they defeated the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath. They utterly destroyed it, and thus the name of the city was called Hormah. 18Also Judah captured Gaza with its territory, Ashkelon with its territory and Ekron with its territory. 19Adonai was with Judah, and he possessed the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots. 20Then they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had promised, so he drove out from there the three sons of Anak. 21But the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem, so the Jebusites continued to live with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day. 22Also the house of Joseph marched against Bethel, and Adonai was with them. 23The house of Joseph sent men to spy out Bethel (the former name of the city was Luz). 24Now the scouts saw a man coming out from the city and they said to him, “Please show us the entrance into the city and we will deal kindly with you.” 25So he showed them the entrance into the city, and they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man go free with all his family. 26So the man went into the land of the Hittites, built a city, and named it Luz, which is its name to this day. 27Manasseh, however, did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages. So the Canaanites resolved to dwell in that land. 28When Israel became strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out. 29Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer, so the Canaanites settled in Gezer among them. 30Nor did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites settled among them, but became subject to forced labor. 31Nor did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Zidon, Achlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik or Rehob; 32so the Asherites lived among the Canaanites who were dwelling in the land, because they did not drive them out. 33Nor did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but lived among the Canaanites dwelling in the land, though the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath became forced labor for them. 34But the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country, for they would not let them come down to the valley. 35Also the Amorites persisted in dwelling in Mount Heres, in Aijalon and in Shaalbim, but when the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, they became forced labor for them. 36So the territory of the Amorites ran from the Ascent of Akrabbim from the Rock and upward.
–from Judges 1
Do you realize the risk of only doing part of the job? Do you realize the risk of not being fully obedient? Do you realize that partial obedience means disobedience? Do you realize what you are saying when you don’t fully obey? Do you realize that partially obeying means you are disobeying? Do you realize what will be the future when you don’t finish strong? Do you realize the consequences of being disobedient? Do you realize the calling upon your life? How will you finish? Finish Strong!
After Joshua, Israel Abandons Adonai
1Now the angel of Adonai came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and He said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and took you into the land which I swore to your fathers. I also said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you. 2Now as for you, you must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You must break down their altars.’ But you have not listened to My voice. What is this you have done? 3Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out from before you, but they will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a snare to you.’” 4Now when the angel of Adonai spoke these words to all Bnei-Yisrael, the people lifted up their voice and wept. 5So they called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there to Adonai. 6Now when Joshua had sent the people away, Bnei-Yisrael went every man to his inheritance to possess the land. 7Then the people worshipped Adonai all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Adonai that He had done for Israel. 8Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Adonai, died at the age of 110 years, 9and they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. 10But when all that generation were gathered to their fathers, there arose another generation after them that did not experience Adonai or the work that He had done for Israel. 11Then Bnei-Yisrael did what was evil in Adonai’s eyes, and worshipped the Baalim. 12They abandoned Adonai, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples around them, and bowed down to them. So they provoked the anger of Adonai. 13So they forsook Adonai and worshipped Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14So the anger of Adonai burned against Israel, and He gave them over to the hands of plunderers who plundered them, and He sold them over into the hand of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand up before their enemies. 15Whenever they went out, the hand of Adonai was against them for evil, as Adonai had spoken and as Adonai had sworn to them. So they were severely distressed.
Rise of Judges
16Then Adonai raised up judges who delivered them from the hand of those who plundered them. 17Yet they listened not to their judges, for they prostituted themselves after other gods and bowed down to them. They quickly turned aside from the way in which their fathers walked in obeying the commandments of Adonai; they did not do so. 18Whenever Adonai raised judges up for them, Adonai was with the judge and delivered them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. For Adonai was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed and crushed them. 19But when the judge died, they would keep turning back and acted more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods, worshipping them, and bowing down to them. They abandoned none of their practices and stubborn ways. 20So the anger of Adonai burned against Israel, and He declared, “Since this nation has transgressed My covenant that I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice, 21I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, 22in order to test Israel by them, whether or not they will keep the way of Adonai to walk in it as their fathers did.” 23So Adonai left those nations, without driving them out quickly. Thus so He had not given them into the hand of Joshua.
–from Judges 2
So let’s come together and stand strong! Let’s come together united for united we stand and divided we fall! The largest threat is from within! So let’s come together in unity with God and with one another so that we can finish the work God has for us to do! Finish Strong!
Blessing of Unity
1A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
2It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard —Aaron’s beard— coming down on the collar of his robes.
3It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion. For there Adonai commanded the blessing —life forevermore!
–from Psalms 133
Let’s come together in love! Let’s be united in encouraging one another! Let’s build our lives upon the truth of Jesus! Let’s anchor ourselves to Him so that we won’t be swayed to the left or the right but press forward to the glory of God the Father through Him! Let’s not be deceived! Let’s be anchored and stand firm on the truth of God! Finish Strong!
1I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those in Laodicea, as well as for those who have still not seen me face to face. 2My purpose is that their hearts, joined together in love, may be encouraged. May they have all the riches of the full assurance of understanding, leading to a true knowledge of the mystery of God—that is, Messiah. 3In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden. 4I am telling you this so that no one will deceive you with persuasive-sounding arguments. 5For even though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit—rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your trust in Messiah.
Living Out the Mystery
6Therefore as you received Messiah Yeshua as Lord, so continue to walk in Him— 7rooted and built up in Him and established in your faith just as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness. 8See that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men and the basic principles of the world rather than Messiah. 9For all the fullness of Deity lives bodily in Him, 10and in Him you have been filled to fullness. He is the head over every ruler and authority. 11In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision done not by hand, in the stripping away of the body of the flesh through the circumcision of Messiah. 12You were buried along with Him in immersion, through which you also were raised with Him by trusting in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13When you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him when He pardoned us all our transgressions. 14He wiped out the handwritten record of debts with the decrees against us, which was hostile to us. He took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15After disarming the principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.
The Danger of False Wisdom
16Therefore, do not let anyone pass judgment on you in matters of food or drink, or in respect to a festival or new moon or Shabbat. 17These are a foreshadowing of things to come, but the reality is Messiah. 18Let no one disqualify you by insisting on false humility and worship of angels—going into detail about what he has seen, puffed up without cause by his fleshly mind. 19He is not holding fast to the Head. It is from Him that the whole body, nourished and held together by its joints and tendons, grows with a godly increase. 20If you died with Messiah to the basic principles of the world, why—as though living in the world—do you subject yourselves to their rules? 21“Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!” 22These all lead to decay with use, based as they are on man-made commands and teachings. 23Indeed, these are matters that have an appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and humility and self-denial of the body—yet none are of any value for stopping indulgence of the flesh.
–from Colossians 2