“Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, ‘I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break My covenant with you, and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they will ]become as thorns in your sides and their gods will be a snare to you.’” -Judges 2:1-3
Jehovah God had given directions to Israel to purge the land of Canaan. They were to drive out the inhabitants and make no covenant with them. However, some of the tribes allowed the inhabitants to stay as forced labor. Manasseh, Ephraim, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali all allowed the Canaanites to live around them. This was not what God wanted or directed. The result was the Canaanites and their idols became a constant snare for Israel.
What do we allow in our life? God knows how to protect us, how to sustain and keep us in His blessings. One big way we can remain free in our life is to turn from the influences and trappings of the world. We need to follow the leading of the Spirit about what we watch on television, what we listen to on the radio, who we spend time with, and what news we receive. With the new social networks today, this may be even more important than before; so many distorted, perverted thoughts are now instantly available.
Like Israel, the Lord wants us to stay separate from these ungodly influences. He doesn’t tell us to stay separated from people, for then they could not be the light of Christ to them. Rather by the inner leading of the Spirit, He guides us away from the fears, lies, doubts, and anxieties Satan can bring into our life through the world. By following the Lord in this, we are “driving out the inhabitants of the land” and protecting the blessing of God.
Written by Pastor Michael Heil