“55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell. 56 And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.” (Num 33:55–56)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Heb 12:1)
In considering these two Texts, I find myself both exhorted and encouraged. The “inhabitants of the land” are analogous to “every weight, and sin“. Just as the Israelites were not to be satisfied with possessing the land, we must not be satisfied merely to take possession of this great Salvation afforded us by the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In humble obedience to the Holy Spirit, we must endure the cleansing and purification of our souls. Whatever weight we won’t lay aside … Whatever sin we won’t confess and repent of … these will fester and spread like a cancer just as the “inhabitants of the land” perverted and polluted the Israelites from within. The writer of Hebrews not only gave the examples of all the great “cloud of witnesses“, but he went on … “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2) Because He did, we too can endure our cross for the hope, the joy that is set before us … our eternal glorification and dwelling in perfect communion with our Creator and Father, the Almighty God.