34They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them:
35But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
36And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
37Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
38And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
39Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.
The journey was long. 40 years they had traveled in the wilderness, but now, finally, the children of Israel reached their Promised Land. Was that the end of the story? Did they live happily ever after?
Sadly, it was just the beginning of years and years of sin and disappointment.
God commanded the Israelites to completely destroy the nations when they came in to conquer the land. However, almost from the beginning, the Israelites compromised the commandments of the Lord. Why did God command them to completely destroy the nations? God knew that if the nations remained, the children of Israel would be tempted to mingle their worship with that of the heathen nations they conquered.
And, that is exactly what they did. They not only worshiped the idols of the nations they conquered, they sacrificed their sons and daughters--their babies--to the devil. Trying to appease the gods of the nations they conquered they offered up their own children, polluting the land with the blood of their sons and daughters.
How could such a thing have happened? They certainly did not intend to do such a thing? That would never happen to us, would it? We are far too civilized to worship the godless idols of this world, are we not?
Do we not see the same thing in Christian communities throughout the world? How many have drunk the wine of compromise, little by little, until many hardly even teach the Bible? Many mainline churches who one day stood staunchly for the truths of God's Word have whittled away the truths of God's Word so they could more comfortably conform to the standards of the society in which they lived. Today, many great churches teach the whimsical attitudes of the culture, ignoring the plain truths taught by God.
Are we beyond the reach of the judgment of God? If God judged His own people for their turning away from Him, will He not also judge the nations of this world who are doing the same thing? What can those of us who desire to remain faithful to God do?
First, we must pray that God will keep us faithful to His Word. As our culture teaches compromise and acceptance, we must stand firm upon the teachings of God's Word. If compromise means we must disobey God, we cannot compromise! Second, we must pray for a revival in the church. Perhaps God will send another great awakening of the people of God as He has done in the past.
If, however, things continue down the path they are on, we must pray that God will be gracious to us and keep us strong. As persecution comes upon the church of God--and it will--we must pray that God will keep us strong and faithful to Him. What little we are called to suffer in this life is nothing compared to the joys that await us in God's glorious kingdom forever!
God Bless You,