Judges 2 (NKJV)
2 ‘And you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this?
3 “Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'”
11 Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals;
12 and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.
I am doing an on-line reading program, with Shirley Carpenter, reading through the Bible in two years. We are in the Old Testament right now and I am surprised day after day, at how often the theme shown above is repeated. I believe that it is a warning for us today. We can make no covenants with the world around us that God does not tell us to make. Now it’s not exactly “covenant making” in the sense that we see it in the OT, but it is the “winking at sin” that we see everywhere. Not talking about at the corner bar – I’m talking at home and even in church! The church issue may be subtle, but it’s there. Have you heard the humor that can go just a little too far? I’m not against humor – but we can get to a point where we will stretch it a little too far just to get the “good” laugh.
In the home it’s an everyday battle. It’s like having a constant stream of door-to-door salesman coming to the door and trying to sell you stuff. All that junk that they want you to think you can’t live without. Stuff your neighbor has that you must also have. And as we accrue it all – we find that it owns us! Sports for the kids is great, until the Sunday morning games takes us out of church. TV programs we “have to” watch because everyone we know is talking about last night’s episode.
As we fail to “drive them out” or refuse them entrance into our lives, they then become thorns in our side and snares in our lives.
Is there a simple answer to this all? There is an answer but it isn’t simple.
How do we know what things are dangerous idols and snares? The Word of God tells us. So the obvious answer is to be studying the Word regularly. Not just reading it to check the box in a reading program. We must be reading with comprehension and understanding given by the Holy Spirit who was given to “… teach us all things, and bring to us remembrance all things…” (John 14:26). It’s the job of the Holy Spirit and as Graham Cooke likes to say in his teaching – “He’s really good at it!”
Get out the Bible today – make a covenant with the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit – to study it. Then follow the direction you get from it…