Last week the students in my Writing Close to the Earth online class read George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language." In it ... Read More
Continuing our espionage through Canaan, I found that Canaan itself meant “lowland,” from a root word meaning “to be humbled, subdued, be low, be under, brought into subjection.” Our bondages to sin, subjections to Satan.
Amorite – “a sayer” probably from amar, “to say, speak, utter, to think, to command, to promise, to intend.” Amorites were apparently the greatest and most powerful of all the nations of Canaan. The false agreements we make with the Liar are powerful. These false words we speak, these identity statements about ourselves, are the greatest and most powerful of all the soulish “tribes” in the promised land of our soul/body. These lies we believe can be used in a wider sense to include all these inhabitants of our inner landscape, because the lies are where the sin-tribes get their life. The cure: to recognize God’s truth, to speak it out and faithe in Him- to make our agreements only with God and His Word.
Hittite – “fear, terror.” Our fears. These are killed off by “being of good courage” and trading fear for faith.
Perizzite – “belonging to a village.” From a root meaning to separate, i.e., decide. Used as “a leader, an officer over soldiers” (Gesenius’ Lexicon). This is our tribe or mob mentality. Our false dependence on others decides a lot in our lives. It becomes our leader, our captain. This mentality has to be slain and Jesus made the captain, the center of our dependence; we are dependent by God’s design, and if we don’t make Christ the Source from which we draw everything, we will find false sources to feed our need for dependence.
Hivite – “town, village dwellers” from the root word “chavvah”, Eve, “life” or “living.” The dependence on others is false life. False life has to be replaced with true life. For the believer this means recognizing and affirming Christ as our life, our breath. It means recognizing that if we have Christ, we have all the love and approval we’re ever going to need. Any other source of security will fluctuate with our circumstances.
Jebusite, from Jebus – “a place trodden down, as a threshing floor” from a root meaning “to tread down, reject, trample down.” “To tread with the feet, trample on, as a thing neglected and despised” (Gesenius’ Lexicon). Jebus was an ancient name of Jerusalem, used in the time of the Canaanites. The Jebusites inhabited Jebus and its neighboring mountains. Where we’ve been beat up in life, trodden down, rejected. This becomes the stronghold, the mother-city of the mountains. This rejection becomes the soil for unbelief. I had a lot of these pernicious idol worshipers planted early on in my Land, and just in this past year the last remnants of Jebusites (as far as I can see) have had their pathetic, whiny butts kicked.
These sin-tribes are energized and operated by the Screwtape paradigm. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not blaming the devil for everything. We have a responsibility. But our responsibility is faith; I’m not responsible for what the devil throws into my head, but I do choose what to do with those thoughts. The only way to spot the counterfeit “I,” the masquerade Satan puts on to get a grip on me, is to be so familiar with the real “I” in Christ that the devilry is obvious.
Now, if you are a maturing saint, see if this sounds familiar in light of your long experience with God. The LORD says in Exd 23:27-22: I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
God is the destroyer of sin; he makes sin run from us and drives it out. He does it little by little so Pride does not take over our inner landscape. Little by little he sanctifies each part of us until we are using each part of our soul/body in worship and love and gratefulness to God. He sets the bounds where Abraham’s feet walked, as Jesus, our progenitor defined our inner promised land by walking the landscape of His humanity in total freedom. Jesus Christ Himself, indwelling us as the inner Fiery Cloud that goes before us, is the one who will deliver these inhabitants of the soul/body into our hands: our besetting sins and false slaveries, the lies we have believed, our fears, our dependence on others that gives us a false sense of life, security, worth, and our rejection. We are to make no covenant with any of these usurpers of our Land, nor with their gods. If we serve their false gods, it will be a snare to us. We will not have the abundant life that God desires. “If you do not believe, surely you shall not be established.”
So on we go, like Caleb, like Joshua, into the Land. And we overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our Testimony. We died in Christ and rose again; we are new creations, and now we subdue all these inhabitants of our inner landscape by the power of the resurrected Christ within us, our Captain who leads us in battle, the Ark of the Covenant leading the way. In Part Three we’ll go further into the Land and see how this works out in practice.
Winner of 147 Grammys (or so), Ron Block is the banjo-ninja portion of Alison Kraus and Union Station. When he's not laying down a bluegrass-style martial-arts whoopin' on audiences around the world, he's taking care of his donkey named "Trash" and keeping himself busy by being one of the most well-read and thoughtful people we know.