“They did not, however, drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer: so the Canaanites have lived within Ephraim to this day but have been made to do forced labor.” Joshua 16:10
Not ridding the land of the Canaanites will negatively affect the tribe of Ephraim and the entirety of Israel for years to come. This is an example of lack of complete obedience, and of compromising with the enemy. As we live in this present day on the far side of the cross and the empty tomb the idea of driving out others seems harsh. While God welcomes us (sinners) and commands us to do the same; God also commands to teach all that Jesus taught, that each must believe in Jesus as Savior thus being forgiven of sin and beginning the transformation to Christ likeness. Not forced to do so but voluntarily choosing to accept and believe in Christ. Not driving the Canaanites out will haunt the Israelites for years/generations to come. In this Lenten season; I must ask myself, who and what is near me that I have allowed to remain close that I should drive out? And if I am unable to drive out, must ask God’s help to do so? Leaving them close is to invite temptation, is to be less than completely obedient. God is with us, God invites us to be with Him however we cannot be in His presence and remain disobedient, impure, and unholy. It is impossible for us to enslave and control sin but God has defeated sin! Thanks be to God, thanks be to the Son who is my Savior, thanks be to Holy Spirit whose power strengthens me in my weakness and keeps me from temptation. O God that I would always call on you to drive away the Tempter, to rid me of temptation and weakness before I get myself in trouble. That I be completely obedient and responsive to Your Grace.