7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
34 They did not destroy the peoples,
as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mixed with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.
A snare. Something that traps us. Something that can sneak up and surprise us, or something we slowly embrace until it wraps its tentacles around us and we are…
Engulfed and ensnared.
God’s people were led out of slavery in Egypt by their loving God Who listened to their pleas for mercy with His grace. They were a stubborn lot, refusing to back off their stubbornness, yet He continued to love them.
As He took them through 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, where they were fed and cared for to the extent that their clothes and shoes lasted the entire trip, He opened the way to the Promised Land. There His desire was to bless them with unimaginable wonder. As He took them into battle, they were told to purge the land. Unfortunately, they refused and befriended the natives. They paid the consequences by becoming ensnared in the people’s ungodly ways and losing sight of God’s absolute best for His children.
Yes, this may sound pompous and pious. How could a loving God be SO self-righteous that He wouldn’t love all people? Isn’t love about loving all – tolerating all – not judging any?
Yes – and no.
You can love all – at a distance when necessary.
You can live in – yet not of. You can be in – and not be part.
And when God says to turn away, do not touch, and destroy things that He knows needs to be dealt with…
It’s best to do so. Not doing so sets you up for second best – or worse.
There are too many things around us that can become a snare. There are too many things that seem “okay” and harmless, yet can destroy us from within. There are too many things surrounding us, just waiting to capture our attention, our desire…
and our heart.
Decisions are made in a moment. The consequences can last for a lifetime – and more.
A moment of compromise…
A moment of concession…
A moment of accommodation…
A moment of yielding…
There will be consequences.
God is Holy. He demands holiness. “Be holy, as I am holy” is a choice. It’s not for everyone. The snare awaits.
Don’t play the whore.