Consequences and Remaining Influences

“The Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem were not dispossessed by the sons of Benjamin; thus the Jebusites dwelt with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem until this day.”

(Judges 1:21)

Once again, we see the parallel to this passage in Joshua 15:63. The more important thing to note, though, is that here we really find the beginning of the references to the people of Canaan dwelling in the land alongside of the Israelites. And, as a result, there is a residue of idolatry left in the land…a residue which draws people into the sin of the pagans. That reality doesn’t become any more clear than is found in the events toward the end of this book (Judges 19), for even the wicked Levite refers to the city as a city of foreigners — a problem that would not be rectified until the arrival of David (2 Samuel 5) as King. In other words, the failure here would lead to several hundred years of consequences. Sobering, isn’t it.

How often we do not think beyond the immediate consequences of our actions. How rarely we look to the future and ask what the long term ramifications of our actions…particularly of those sins we choose to engage in. The influence we have on those people around us affects the lives of those people and their lives, affected by your own choice, will affect others and a century from now events will take place that will be partially your responsibility, though your name will have been entirely forgotten. We pray that those effects, used and governed by God’s providence, will be good and glorifying to God, but how often they reflect the sins we struggle with (or worse, fail to struggle against!).

One might argue that there is no way to remove the influences from us lest one decide to move into a cave, go “off the grid” and live in the wilderness, or buy a remote island to live on and, how does one live out the Great Commission if one retreats from society? Indeed we live as grain growing amongst the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30;36-43). Yet, we can limit the influence of those pagan ideas as we go through the days, weeks, and years seeking to be salt and light in our communities. A friend of mine recently commented, “If we would not welcome thieves and robbers into our own homes; why do we so often allow thoughts of sin into our hearts?” The point is well taken. We need to guard our hearts lest they lead us down a path of destruction.

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