“ However, they did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer. . . .” In light of God’s explicit and repeated commands to drive all the Canaanites out of the land so that their idolatry would not become a snare to Israel, these words ominously foreshadow the compromise that would lead to Israel’s destruction and exile.
It is so easy to see from our perspective over three thousand years later the damage these pockets of compromise caused for the nation of Israel. But do we look at the compromise in our own lives with the same awareness of the long-term consequences? I’m sure the Israelites who failed to obey God had myriad excuses and justifications for why God surely didn’t mean what He had clearly told them. I’m sure their own wisdom, compassion, practicality, fear, or greed seemed to outweigh simple submission to God’s will.
Where do we compromise on the truth of God? When Jesus said to those who followed Him, “Go into all the world and make disciples,” do we think, He didn’t mean me. Or He didn’t mean “Go to my grumpy next-door neighbor.” Or He didn’t mean “Go to that place where they really don’t like Christians . . . .” Or “Go to my workplace and make disciples of those you work with every day.”
When Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with everything that you are and to love others as much as you love and care for your own needs, He didn’t mean love those criminals in prison. Or the person who cut me off in traffic. Or the person counting out coupons in line ahead of me at the grocery store. He didn’t mean love that person who came to this country in desperation, seeking a place where his family might be safe, fed, and healthy, did He?
What if we could travel three thousand years into the future and see the impact of our compromise on this nation and this world?