The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt, having had to work to irrigate the gardens which they grew, they had traveled through the desert, with God as an oasis from the elements, and they were about to enter into the Promised Land. This land was to be a place much like Eden, where the vegetation was lush and the thorns and thistles were few. It was described as paradise, but Canaan was only meant as a partial fulfillment of God’s promise to his people. Canaan had been polluted with the sin and wickedness of its inhabitants and the Israelites did anything but purge the land of sin. Rather, they quickly joined in with the pagan revelries.
How little we do to preserve the purity of what God has given us. We pollute our marriages with want and a wandering heart; we pollute our families with the things we teach our children to ignore. We pollute our jobs with laziness and we pollute our relationship with our Creator with neglect and sin. We may not have carved Baals and Asherahs, but we have set humanism and materialism in our hearts. We need to turn our hearts back toward the Lord, seeking his glory and the joy of the promised land kept and preserved from ruin for those who would call on the name of Jesus for salvation.