These are the nations that the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is all Israel who had not experienced all the wars in Canaan ……..they were for the testing of Israel to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses. So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods.
The people of Israel, God’s special, chosen people were set apart to be ‘a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’ Exodus 19.6 as a witness to the one true God to the nations around them. Under the leadership of Moses and Joshua there had been many times when they failed in this great calling but following the death of Joshua and with a generation who did not know the LORD things went from bad to worse and God’s special people integrated fully into the culture of the heathen tribes God allowed to remain in the land. There was no God centred leadership and the Book of Judges closes with these telling words ‘In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 21.25
How easy it is to tut tut! How easy it is to believe that we would have done anything different!
But let us be realistic with regard to the pressures that a secular culture places upon God’s people today. We are constantly under pressure to conform to things and ideas that fly in the face of God’s word. It is therefore incumbent upon us to a) know God’s word so that b) we might be in a position to know where we need to stand firm and say ‘no further’.
Going against the majority is hard but unless God’s people do stand, as a nation, we will move further and further into a godless mess.
Take time today to pray for yourself and fellow believers that we might be unafraid to be different and known as God’s people.