Then Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua utterly destroyed them with their cities. There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained.
The Anakim, I know from other reading, are a lineage that produced giants. Whether this was simply genetic or if there was something supernatural going on is up for debate, but these were people of unusual size. Goliath is mentioned as a giant (I think he was one of the Rephaim, though, and not one of the Anakim) and his given dimensions place him over 9 feet tall. These Anakim were not pushovers. This is the Israelites fighting the first string warriors. And dominating.
The key to this dominance is God fighting on behalf of the Israelites. But that was yesterday’s focal point. This morning, I find myself noting the order in which God took the Israelites through the conquest. He began them with a spectacular victory over Jericho that put the fear of God into the people in the land. Ai came next, after a hiccough involving Achan taking things that were God’s. Then it was an unbroken string of victories with God in constant communication with Joshua about when it was acceptable to step out onto the battlefield. God rounds things out with the extermination of the Anakim from the Promised Land.
I find this interesting, because I wonder if a similar pattern might be a principle in my own life. God won a spectacular victory in my life early on by bringing my anger under control and He has been making steady inroads on all the areas in my life that need to be conquered in order to conform me to the image of His Son. But there are giants. There are battles that seem so daunting that I am mot sure I have enough in the W column to be comfortable walking into that battle. I have had too many Achan times in my life when I got things all out of order and was soundly defeated (times that left me aching – yes, the pun is terrible and I love it). Too much in the L column to feel ready to face down the giants in my life. And maybe that is the pattern God works with. Maybe He works me through battling smaller challenges up to the giants in the land.
Father, thank You for winning victories in my life and for continuing to conform me to the image of Your Son. I know that there is still much to be done and I trust that You will complete the work so hat I can stand blameless in Your presence one day. Please continue to conquer more of my life and bring it into obedience to Christ.