So Joshua conquered the whole region—the kings and people of the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills, and the mountain slopes. He completely destroyed everyone in the land, leaving no survivors, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had commanded.
Joshua 10:40 NLT
Some weeds can be really difficult to remove. Mare’s Tail is an example – its stem and its roots are segmented so that if you try to pull it out it snaps. This means that you leave a bit of the root in the ground and to make matters worse, the roots go down 3 feet! If you don’t get the root out, then the plant just starts growing again. You could be there forever trying to get the root out, so the only way to get rid of it is to give it a severe blast of a powerful weed killer. Unfortunately, that will also kill any plants beside it.
For the new nation to survive, Joshua had to remove every trace of other cultures or the Israelites would have been contaminated and their future endangered. The chapter might seem violent, bloodthirsty and merciless, but there was no alternative.
I have things in my life which keep holding me back and pulling me down. They are like infections, weeds in my life and I need to eradicate them totally. This is not just for my benefit. It’s a command. Neither is it just as things come to the fore: I need to hunt then down, just as Joshua had to pursue the fleeing army and then attack the other cities which hadn’t come out to fight him.