Today’s reading was from Judges 1-6. It records events following Joshua’s death. One of the features of this section has to do with the completion of the conquest of the land. More importantly, however, it chronicles those peoples of the land who were left behind, to dwell in the land along with God’s people. These people would become the cause of much pain and trouble for Israel. Because Israel didn’t do what God commanded and remove them entirely, Israel would soon depart from their God and follow the gods of the neighbors. Thus began a cycle of faithlessness, punishment from those left in the land, repentance, the rising of a judge, faithfulness for the life of that judge, repeat.
As I read the passage (and look forward to the cyclical stories of judges ahead), I couldn’t help but think about the lives of us who are professing Christians. Throughout scripture there we find the admonition to removed the things from our lives that are not from God. It was good advice for Israel 4000 years ago. It is good now.
I am not sure why, but the bad seems to have an easier time overcoming good than visa versa. Peer pressure usually brings us to ill not good (though there are always exceptions to that). The list of things to rid our lives of seems endless to be sure. Yet, removing them is well worth the effort.