And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 7:22-23)
Everything God does, and everything He tells us to do, is infused with wisdom. Furthermore, it is always with our best interests in mind. Consider the wisdom and benefit to God’s people within these verses. No doubt Israel wanted a quick victory over the inhabitants of the land however in this particular case, that would have been detrimental to their cause. If the Canaanites had been quickly vanquished, a vacuum of people would have allowed the wild beasts to multiply unabated. In other words, God used the enemy of Israel to keep another foe — wild beasts — at bay until Israel was ready to fully possess the land.
Most of us, when facing an opponent, would be completely focused on the primary adversary. By that I mean, in the heat of battle, we wouldn’t be thinking about the ramifications of their defeat other than we get the victory. It would be our inclination to hope and expect that God would give us total victory over our enemies in quick order without considering what other enemies might be strengthened by another’s defeat. However, our King is always looking at the “long game” as it relates to His purpose, and so if we trust Him, we must be content to fight the battles on His timetable. That might mean a prolonged war but, if we do things His way, in the end there will be victory and wholeness over all of our foes.
The point then, is we must always consider that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). If He allows for a prolonged battle to touch our lives, we must believe that there is long term benefit to us and that, in His wisdom, He has orchestrated all the particulars. In whatever our situation, we would do well to heed the advice of Solomon who said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Blessings and Shalom,