What does it say? Following the battles led by Joshua, the tribes of Israel conquered the Promised Land, but they failed to completely drive out all the previous residents and then lived among them.
What does it mean? God had two purposes in sending Israel to conquer the land of Canaan. First, God promised this land to Israel as a place in which He would bless them and use them to bless others (Gen. 12:1-3). Second, God was punishing the Canaanites for their wicked behavior (Gen. 15:16). All Israel had to do was trust and obey God. By doing so, they would become the instrument of judgment on the Canaanites and heirs of God’s promise to Abraham. However, Israel’s failure to drive them out would be a problem throughout the era of the Judges. Since the remaining Canaanites continued in their wicked ways, they influenced the Israelites to follow them and serve other gods.
How should I respond? At some point, you’ve probably learned the importance of instructions by purchasing something that said, “Some assembly required.” Every step of instruction has to be followed for the object to perform as designed. Likewise, God gives us purposeful instructions and the ability to follow His commands, just as He did with Israel. Is there anything in your life that God classifies as “wicked”? He will enable you to eradicate it through prayer, Scripture and the encouragement of other believers. No sin in your life is too hard for the Lord to conquer. Allowing sin to linger will only cause trouble.