Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
And indeed it was a snare to Israel to be so accepting of the gods of the people around them. By not heeding God’s commands and making concessions along the way, they became ensnared in idol worship for generations and ultimately received God’s judgment. They allowed the heathen nations around them to influence them and infect their minds and draw them away so that they sinned against God.
And there are certain things that should not dwell in the life of a Christian. There are things that become snares unto us, and we find ourselves bound to that thing instead of Christ. Things that pull our hearts away from God have no place within our borders and should be utterly cast out. And if we find ourselves looking too much upon the ways of the world and allowing them to impact our lives, we may find ourselves sinning against God in a devastating way. And if we don’t listen to God when He commands us to forsake something, we will have to face His judgment for ourselves.
Israel’s conquering of the land wasn’t to simply defeat an enemy to gain territory; it was to cleanse the land they would dwell in of sinful people doing sinful things that were an abomination to their God. And keeping our hearts and lives pure shouldn’t be simply for principle’s sake, but to honor God and glorify Him and to sanctify ourselves for His sake. It has to be out of devoted obedience to God and a heartfelt desire to please Him in all things, or else we’ll be easily led astray by anything that is attractive to us. We must allow anything ungodly in our lives to be conquered completely.
So, are there things in our lives that we’re allowing that we shouldn’t be? Are we looking at them as small things that we think we can handle but that may actually turn into something much bigger and more problematic than we thought? Have we made concessions with the world around us and accepted things that God says are wrong? Have we permitted sinful things within the borders of our lives? May we choose this day to forsake those things with a heart of true repentance and rid our land of anything that would come between us and God.