Convincing Myself To Compromise

Leah DiPascal

Day: 16 | Plan: Joshua-Judges

Today’s Reading: Joshua 16

Joshua 16:10 (NIV) “They did not dislodge the Canaanites living in Gezer; to this day the Canaanites live among the people of Ephraim but are required to do forced labor.”

The story of Joseph is told in Genesis. He was Jacob’s favorite son who was sold into slavery by his brothers, but ended up saving his entire family during the great famine in Egypt. You won’t find his story anywhere in the book of Joshua, but in today’s lesson we read about the rich portion of land given to Joseph’s descendants through his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.

This territory was located in central Canaan and considered some of the most beautiful and fertile ground in the region. In fact, when Moses blessed each of the tribes in Deuteronomy 33, this is what he said about the land that would be theirs:

“May the LORD bless his [Joseph’s] land
 with the precious dew from heaven above
 and with the deep waters that lie below;

with the best the sun brings forth
 and the finest the moon can yield;

with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
 and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;

with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
 and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.

Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
 on the brow of the prince among his brothers” (Deuteronomy 33:13-16).

All these incredible gifts, blessings and godly favor were wrapped up in a huge plot of prime real estate and all they had to do was follow God’s instructions in order to acquire and enjoy it. God’s orders were clear and concise:

You must demolish them [Canaanites] … Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you” (Exodus 23:24b, 33).

They knew the conditions God had set before them, yet they failed to comply. Instead of driving out all the Canaanites from their newly inherited region, the men of Ephraim let a portion remain in an area of Gezer.

This was a huge mistake. Like a quick-spreading disease, the Israelites began to intermarry, multiply and engage in perverse, pagan worship.

Maybe they were convinced that intermingling with a few Canaanites wouldn’t make a difference. They couldn’t have been more wrong. When we get to the book of Judges you’ll see how the Israelites eventually became enslaved again as a result of disobedience. Their promises of following God wholeheartedly may have flowed easily from their lips, but their hearts were in allegiance to their own desires.

It’s easy to look at their story and say, “they should have known better” but the truth is I can get caught up in making excuses and trying to do things my own way too. I can compromise when I know I shouldn’t.

The enemy is always scheming and striving to convince us that a little sin won’t hurt. The lies he feeds us have potential to build a false mindset within us creating cracks in our faith. They compromise our obedience to God, allowing sin to seep in and settle into the deep places of our soul, which not only affect us but also those we do life with. So let’s be willing to ask the questions we’re tempted to avoid:

What have I allowed into my life and deemed “innocent” that is potentially harmful?

 Am I mingling with someone who has become a bad influence?

What unhealthy habits have I justified to fulfill my personal desires?

Take some time to process these questions with the Lord. Allow Him to renew your mind with His truth and be willing to take new steps towards make better choices starting today.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me Your Word as a personal instruction guide for my life. Help me to see You clearly, follow You faithfully and submit to Your plans each and every day. When I’m tempted to compromise Your truth, because I want to pursue my own way, renew my mind and redirect me back towards Your perfect will. My desire is to obey You in every area of my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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