As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out…
The failure of the men of Judah to conquer the Jebusites is illustrative of the failures men too commonly encounter in the attempt to accomplish the aims of life.
I. NO MAN PERFECTLY SUCCEEDS IN THE TASK OF HIS LIFE. If a man is satisfied that he has accomplished all his aims, this is a proof that those aims were low. We are bound to aim at the highest though we never reach it. The most successful life is still a broken life. Like the rainbow with half the arch melted away, like the waterfall blown into mist before it reaches the ground, like the bird's song cut short by the storm, life's work ends ragged and unfinished. When failure arises from the magnitude of the task, we are free from blame if we have laboured our best at it. But it is usually aggravated by our indolence, cowardice, and culpable weakness. Only Christ has perfectly succeeded (John 17:4). We need a higher view of the requirements of duty, a deeper conviction of our own past failure, more trust in God's power to help us, more consecration of soul and earnest, self-sacrificing effort.
II. NO CHRISTIAN WHILE IN THIS WORLD PERFECTLY SUCCEEDS IN EXPELLING HIS SINS. The Christian life is a warfare with sin. Though God pardons sin immediately on our repentance and faith in Christ, and gives us grace with which to conquer it, He requires us to fight against it. The war is not decided by one battle. It is a life-long conflict. He who claims to have completely conquered is deceiving himself (1 John 1:8). This is a fact, but one to cause shame, for it is not a physical necessity. We ought to conquer all sin, and in Christ we have the means for this perfect victory.
III. THE CONQUEST OF THE WORLD FOR CHRIST IS SLOW. The Jebusites were not completely subdued till the days of David (2 Samuel 5:6, 7). Christian mission work proceeds slowly. Strongholds of sin, of heathenism, of unbelief, of worldliness still seem invincible.
(1) This fact should not shake our faith in the truth of Christ, for it was predicted while ultimate triumph was promised (Matthew 13:31, 32).
(2) It should convince us of our own want of faithfulness. Christ has entrusted the extension of His gospel to His Church. It is to the shame of the Church that she is so remiss in carrying out her great mission. IV, NO EARTHLY INHERITANCE IS WITHOUT ITS DISADVANTAGES. Canaan was not paradise. The land flowing with milk and honey also brought forth thorns and briars. Jerusalem, the future capital of the land, was the last place to be subdued. So we find something amiss in the very core of life. This is owing
(1) partly to our failure to make the best use of this world, and
(2) partly to the fact that God has given us natures too great for any earthly satisfaction. Therefore we must expect disappointment here. The perfect inheritance is reserved for the next world. - W.F.A.
Parallel VersesKJV: As for the Jebusites the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah could not drive them out: but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Judah at Jerusalem unto this day.