Saturday, February 17, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series-The Canaanite


Exodus 34 says the sins of fathers are visited upon their children to the third and fourth generations. But Deuteronomy 7 proclaims that righteousness will endure for a thousand generations.

Last Sunday we discovered that God did not intend the Old Testament to be just a historical record of what happened to the Children of Israel on their journeys through life. Rather God gave us the Old Testament accounts of the Children of Israel as a roadmap for us to use in our lives.

We drew parallels from the natural to the spiritual and saw how Egypt equaled the world; Pharaoh equaled satan; and how the natural enemies of the Children of Israel equal the spiritual enemies we face in life today.

Finally, we realized it was never God’s intent for His children to live in a wilderness. The wilderness is not the Promised Land and it’s too close to the world. He brought us out of the world to get the world out of us.

Today we begin studying the enemies who occupy our Promised Land. Together we are going to learn how to identify and defeat them. If we are going to be victorious we must be willing to face the enemies of our souls … if we face them, God will help us defeat them. If we refuse to face them, we forfeit, and they win by default. Are you ready? Let us go at once …

Exodus 3
7 ¶  And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
8  “So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.”

The First Enemy – The Canaanite.

For near 40 years I have diligently studied the words, the people and the lessons of the Bible. The Canaanite enemy is a subject I know very well. I have wrestled in my mind trying to discern how much to share with you this morning. I don’t want to overload you, but I do want to equip you.

I could just tell you that The Canaanite is the enemy of our soul called Compromise. I could say that this spirit will do its best to keep you living as a worldly Christian. The Apostle Paul called those people, Carnal Christians.

I could simply encourage you to recognize those temptations to compromise your Christianity and forsake every flesh motivated sinful habit of your soul. Perhaps I could inspire you to resist the enticements that draw you to love the world and the things of the world. You already know how Jesus said: “All that is in the world, the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, are enemies of God.” (1 John 2:16)

The truth is the spiritual enemy we face in life called the Canaanite tries to entice us to compromise our lives. The Canaanite is a sweet-talking devil who tries to subdue you and bring you low by getting you to bow your knee to him through compromise. He is trying to sell us a bill of goods and rob us of the power that godliness and holiness brings to a life. He says, “It’s ok to sin just a little or lie just a little or cheat just a little … everybody else does … you can’t be perfect … look at what they’re doing … don’t feel bad about it … you’re doing good … it feels right … come on … just a little, no one will know …”. He is one heck of a salesman for sin.

My grandson Jacob told me some people call it “realism” but it’s just sin.

Some people are tempted to compromise their values for love or sex, money, power or position. Life is about more than just getting what we want … it’s about getting what He wants. And, what God wants is better.

I could say the Canaanites will tempt you to compromise your walk with Christ – “Don’t!” – and I could just leave it at that. But, I feel I wouldn’t be giving you the whole story or equipping you as well as I should so that you can defeat this enemy of the soul both for your sakes and the sake of your families. So, allow me to go just a little deeper in the scriptures today and help you discover more about this Canaanite and how to defeat him.

By the time we get to Moses and the situation in Exodus 3, God has cursed the Canaanites and has been angry with them for about 700 years. Do you remember the flood in the days of Noah? Let’s go back in time …

About 2348BC, (4366 years ago, +/-), God sent the flood to destroy the world and all its inhabitants because the world was filled with wickedness. But Noah was a righteous man and a preacher of righteousness, therefore God saved him and his household. After a year on the ark they all began their new lives on an earth that had been cleansed by the washing of the waters. This too is a natural parallel to salvation and water baptism.

Some years passed, and life was going along ok. Noah’s sons were all raising families and God’s plan to replenish the earth was in full swing. Genesis 9 tells us that Noah was a farmer and he had a vineyard. After harvesting his crops one year, Noah made wine and sometime after it had fermented Noah drank too much, became drunk and passed out in his tent.

The youngest of Noah’s three sons, Ham, knew what his father had done and went into his father’s tent and did something shameful to his father. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Ham came out and went and bragged and laughed and made fun of his father’s nakedness in front of his two brothers, Shem and Japheth. These two older brothers, out of respect for their father, took a blanket and walked backwards into their father’s tent and covered him. (There are so many spiritual parallels we draw from this record God gave us to use as a roadmap for our lives.) We continue:

Genesis 9 NKJV
24 ¶  So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him.
25  Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.”
26  And he said: “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem, And may Canaan be his servant.
27  May God enlarge Japheth, And may he dwell in the tents of Shem; And may Canaan be his servant.”

So, if Ham did this abominable act to his father before God and others, why did God curse Canaan and not Ham? Ham had four sons:

Genesis 10:6  The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
1.   Cush – The father of the of Persians and Arabians from Iraq south to Ethiopia.
2.   Mizraim – The father of the Egyptians in both upper and lower Egypt.
3.   Put – The father of the Libyans and the people who first settled the lands we now know as Tunisia, Algeria and Mauritania.
4.   Canaan – The father of the Phoenicians and all those “ites” in the land of Canaan.

So why did God curse Canaan instead of Ham? A few reasonable answers exist among scholars from every age. I’ll offer just two:
1.   Either Canaan agreed with and accompanied his father into that tent that day and committed a lewd act against his own grandfather,
2.   Or Canaan was the one son of Ham who was just like his father and grew up tempting and teaching others to compromise.

Ham was born in the world before the flood, and even though he escaped death it was not enough to motivate him to change his life. Ham continued his worldly wickedness into his new life. It seems easier for God to get His children out of the world than it is for Him to get the world out of His children. Ham was a wicked, worldly man. Many believe that Ham taught and tempted people to do wicked things and that Canaan was just like him.

At any rate, neither Ham nor his other three sons were named in the curse which followed this horrible act. The notion that all the descendants of Ham are cursed or that they carry some extra burden in life is preposterous and in complete opposition to the clear Word of God. Canaan was named, and the Canaanites are consistently targeted by God as His enemy.

We cannot live a victorious life with one foot in the Kingdom of God and one foot in the world. A compromised life can cost us and our families too much. He did not save us from Pharaoh to let us live in the swallow and shadow of Egypt.

Two questions for today:
1.  How can we identify compromise?
a.   The Hebrew word Canaanite means peddler or merchant. This is one who entices you, trying to sell you a bill of goods. It’s an attempt to humble and humiliate you and subdue you by bring you low and laughing when you fall.
b.   The serpent in the Garden of Eden had this spirit.
c.   Do you hear a voice tempting you to compromise? Is it telling you that just a little bit won’t hurt?  It’s the Canaanite!
2.  How can we defeat the Canaanites in our life?
a.   Face it … Just call it what it is … not realism … it’s compromise.

God said He would drive the Canaanite out from before your face … but you must face it …

b.   Repent before God with a heart-felt sorrow.
c.   Recover yourself with a commitment to stay away from it and/or never do that again.

The Apostle Paul said, “I crucify my flesh daily!”
·        Do what it takes
·        As many times as it takes
·        To get the victory …
·        Don’t bow to the Canaanite

In what areas of life are you most tempted to compromise?
·        Lusts
·        Money
·        Revenge
·        Sex
·        Pride
·        Anger
·        Alcohol
·        Pornography
·        Adultery
·        Selfishness
·        Hate
·        Cussing
·        Gossiping
·        Lying
·        Cheating
·        Drugs

What calls your name and tempts you to compromise your Christian walk and witness? What is the lie you are tempted to believe? Who wants to set you up and them make you fall and uncover your nakedness? Who wants to hurt you and your children and your children’s children?

It’s the Canaanite! Recognize him and run to Jesus! Repent and Recover yourself from the snare of the devil … (2 Timothy 2:25) Let’s Pray!!!