“Good enough” thinking isn’t good enough
Joshua 17: But they never did get rid of them.
In some movies when certain people appear on screen or when certain words are said we hear the background musical score take on an ominous tone. That’s what we ought to hear when the phrase, “they never did get rid of them” or something similar is read concerning the occupation of Canaan by the various tribal groups. As happens in those movies, what sounds pretty innocuous in the Book of Joshua becomes deadly serious as we continue reading into the Book of Judges and beyond. So far as the Israelites under Joshua’s leadership are concerned it’s not a big deal. Their opposition is defeated. There are no more armies to fight. A few stubborn hold outs won’t give up and move away, but they’re submissive and provide reliable slave labor. Out on the edges of the land there are still serious enemies, but they have great respect for the power of the army of Israel and aren’t a threat. Israel will leave them alone if those unfriendly neighbors will leave them alone. After a generation of war it’s time to build houses and plant crops and adapt to a more peaceful life. Again, it seems reasonable, practical. However, it’s not what the Lord told them to do. Their failure is going to cost their descendants dearly. It will all be quite clear as I continue into the Book of Judges and beyond. I think we all live in danger of “good enough” thinking. What’s good enough for me right now may not have the momentum to carry through the next rough spot that’s over the horizon. I need to let this passage remind me to pay careful attention to the Lord’s direction on my life and not substitute my so-called wisdom for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Take Away: “Good enough” isn’t good enough until we’ve do all the Lord has told us to do.