They Interacted With The Canaanites

The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. (Judges 3:5)


The children of Israel settled down among the various tribes of Canaan.


When Israel arrived in Canaan, they were commanded to destroy these people without mercy.


Now they were living among them.


It took a very short time for their former enemies to become their new neighbors.


Here's the problem.

Israel was to be separated from the world around them!


They were unique among all the peoples of the world.

They had been chosen, redeemed and set apart to serve the Lord God Almighty.


God expected them to remain separate (Deut. 7:6-11)!


Because they didn't, they opened a floodgate of sin that would end with them facing the terrible chastisement of God.


God's redeemed ones are to be a separate people (2 Cor. 6:17)!


We are God's special possession.

He loved us; He chose us; He send His Son to die for us.

God redeemed us and bought us (1 Cor. 6:19-20)!


When we refuse to walk in His will and honor His Word in our lives, we open the floodgates of sin that eventually overwhelm us and drown us in its turbulent currents.


It is a dangerous thing for a child of God to live like the world around him!


Israel compromised!

They interacted with the people they were not supposed to!

Israel's Compromise

Judges 3: 5-7

"The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD; they forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs." (Judges 3:5-7)


These verses give us the ugly details of Israel's first great failure:

  • They interacted with the Canaanites (Judges 3:5).
  • They intermarriaged with the Canaanites (Judges 3:6a).
  • They worshiped the idols of the Canaanites (Judges 3:6b, 7b).

They compromised the Word of God.

They compromised the will of God.

They wanted to do the things they desired to do!

Othniel, The Lion Of God

Judges 3:1-11

Israel refused to walk with the Lord like He commanded them to.

God refused to drive out all their enemies in the land of Canaan.

Thus, Israel was forced to live alongside the very people they had been sent to destroy.


Judges 1: 1-4 told us the reasons why God left the people in the land:

  • He left them there to test the people of Israel.

    The people of Israel were tested to see how they would live when surrounded by the wicked.

    The people of Israel were tested to see if they would keep God's commandments or not.

    They failed the test!
  • He left them there to teach the new generations about spiritual warfare.

    God wanted them to learn the lessons of battle their fathers had known.

    God wanted them to be strong and to know how to fight the enemy when he came around.

    They failed this test too!


It wasn't long until this caused some serious problems among the people of Israel.


Israel proved that they could not be trusted to stand up against the enemy.

They proved that they would rather join the enemy than fight them.


God delivered Israel from a time of cruel bondage by raising up Othniel.

His name means "The Lion Of God".

He was a man who lived up to his name.

Othniel was the first Judge in Israel!

Israel Failed To Obey God

Judges 1:19-34


Israel had their instructions.

But they failed to fully carry out the Lord’s command.


The record of their failure was chronicled in Judges 1:19-34:

Judah failed (1:19-20); Benjamin failed (1:21); Joseph failed (1:22-26); Manasseh failed (1:27-28); Ephraim failed (1:29); Zebulon failed (1:30); Asher failed (1:31-32); Naphtali failed (1:33); and Dan failed (1:34).

The tribes of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh even refused to enter Canaan, choosing to remain on the other side of Jordan.


Israel’s failure to defeat their enemies resulted in them living among their enemies.

After a while, they became like their enemies, adopting the wicked ways of the various Canaanite tribes around them.

Eventually, Israel began to worship the false gods of the Canaanites.


When they followed this downward path, God allowed them to know His displeasure and His judgment.


When judgment came, eventually the people would realize that they were to blame.

They would repent and seek the Lord.


When they did, God forgave them and raised up a deliverer, called a Judge.

These men and women helped Israel throw off the yoke of their oppressors.

They also helped them to live for God.


Israel would follow a Judge until that Judge died.

Then they would revert to their wicked ways.

The cycle would begin again.


This continued in Israel for about 400 years, until they got their first king.