“Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Beth-she’mesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-she’mesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.” —Judges 1:33
Naphtali means “my wrestling” (see Genesis 30:8).
Although we have been saved miraculously and marvelously by God’s grace, though we have been called and justified by the precious Sacrifice of God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ, and although we have inherited “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ,” we still live in this world where the inhabitants of Beth-she’mesh, Bethanath, and the Canannites dwell. It is written in Ephesians 6:12, however, that our warfare is spiritual:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The LORD brought Israel into all the land that He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Joshua 21:43), but there were still battles to be fought; still wicked inhabitants to be conquered. Likewise, we also have battles to be fought and wickedness to overcome in our lives, in the “land of the possession of the LORD.” Yet, it is only by God’s grace and the power of His might that we overcome, defeat and conquer. Only in Christ and by His Word will we be able to take every thought captive unto His obedience. Only in Christ is the flesh mortified, crucified with its affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24).
We must endeavor to stay ever in His Word, communing in the Spirit, dwelling in the Father’s love, and resting in His promise, by the power of His might.
1 Thessalonians 4
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.