Drive them out

I am not versed in the specific references, but I have heard Scott Hahn state that the early Church Fathers have a spiritual interpretation of some of the Old Testament texts relating to driving out the inhabitants from the Promised Land.  Such we find in Numbers 33:

“Say to the people of Israel, When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places;  and you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.  […] 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 pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.  And I will do to you as I thought to do to them.”  Numbers 33:51-56

Apparently, according to Hahn, the Fathers saw in verses such as this a post-baptismal call to drive out sin from our lives.  Passing through the Jordan is a type of baptism.  By baptism, we possess the Promised Land.  And yet the call remains to drive out the sin from our lives.  Or else these sins shall remain as pricks in our eyes and thorns in our side to trouble us.  To rob us of peace, to rob us of joy, and scarily, to dispossess us of the Land, if it comes to it.  For the Lord will do to us what he thought to do to them.

And now, on to the book of Joshua.


~ by Rob on March 31, 2008.

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