Numbers 33-34, Psalm 51
A popular term in American politics is to reach across the aisle. This is considered a good thing showing that the politician is not rigid, but is willing to compromise in order to move things forward. This popular view goes along with the view of moral relativism in which there is really no correct way, only opinions. Nothing black or white, only shades of gray. Compromise is a popular theme when it comes to politics and moral issues today. But, when it comes to the things of God, compromise is not His way. God wanted His people to come out from the culture and the false gods and set themselves apart to follow Him only. We are called to do the same thing today.
We will see in the continuing story of the Israelites that they disobeyed God in this area. God’s instructions to the Israelite’s are straightforward in Numbers 33:51-53, “…when you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.” If this is not clear enough God goes on to explain to them what will occur if they choose to disobey His instructions in 33:55-56, “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.” It would appear from these statements that God had no intention of reaching across the political aisle in a show of compromise with the false god’s, nor did He desire the Israelites to do that with the nations residing there. We will see that the Israelites went on to compromise in this area to their own downfall.
This truth applies as much to our external walk with God as it does with our internal conflicts. In Galatians 5:16-17, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” In Romans 7:13-25, Paul vividly pictures this internal war between Spirit and flesh. We, the Bride of Christ, His saints or set apart ones, like the Israelites are called to holiness and as such we can make no peace treaty with the flesh. Our idols may seem different than those of the Egyptians and Canaanites, but they are just as deadly. Anything which we love more than God has become our idol. These can be bad things like money, pornography, drugs, etc. They can even be good things like our spouses, our children, our jobs. Obviously these good things, we are not to get rid of, but we should not love them more than God. Jesus taught us in Luke 14:26-33 an illustration of this. I will only quote verse 26, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” The more accurate word here would be love less rather than hate. The more we learn to love Him more than everything else, our life in Him will be more clear. And as a result all of your other relationships will get better, not worse.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: