“¶Also Ephraim did not dispossess the Canaanites who were living in Gezer; so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them. ¶Zebulun did not dispossess the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labor. ¶Asher did not dispossess the inhabitants of Acco or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab or of Achzib or of Helbah or of Aphik or of Rehob.” Judges 1:29-31 LSB https://bible.com/bible/3345/jdg.1.29-31.LSB
The promise of God to the people of God was that they would receive a land blessed by God. They would dispossess the former inhabitants who had polluted the land by their disobedient lifestyles so that the people of God who would live according to the will of God could occupy the land to the glory of God. While Israel did occupy the land, they did not completely dispossess the people of the land. Why did it seem that God failed to fulfill completely, perfectly His promise to His people? God said He would leave some of the people to teach the next generation to trust Him. Difficulties, fears, promises made but needing work to be kept, require faith and obedience in God by the people of God to experience the presence of God. Current fears, current complacency with what we have instead of what is promised, and disobedience, all work against us doing the will of God in obedience to the word of God which causes us to miss the promise of God and His presence. We want God to do all the work according to His promises but God fulfills His promises as we work with Him, for Him, and in obedience to Him, trusting Him to help, empower, and reside with us in the process. God has chosen men to steward the earth and populate His eternal kingdom promising to be with His people always who engage this work by bearing much fruit through them. Yet we must engage the mission, by faith, overcoming fears and flesh, focusing on God’s glory in obedience to God’s ways, we act, pray, and live to accomplish His will on earth as it is in heaven. In this way we will experience the presence of God and the blessing of God as we reap His reward both here and in the life to come.