These are the nations the LORD left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath.
I’ve never been a soldier, but every soldier I’ve ever talked to agrees on one thing: War is not fun.
That’s why it blows me away to read that God orchestrated a situation to specifically teach war to His people. In a culture that values comfort and runs screaming from anything resembling pain, it would be much easier to embrace a God who removes war from the path of His people. But God knows that sometimes we have to face our absolute worst fears if we’re going to embrace our divine calling.
If God left fearsome enemies just to teach warfare to His people, why wouldn’t He allow us to face sickness so we can learn empathy? Or betrayal so we can learn forgiveness? Maybe pain so we can learn strength? Or shame so we can learn humility?
We have a choice to make: Let our pain consume us with grief, depression and anger. Or… Remember that the worst things in life are here to teach us that we are meant to be the best thing on earth.