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Friday, September 05, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Judges 1:27-35
27 But Manasseh did not take possession of Beth-shean and its villages, or Taanach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its villages; so the Canaanites persisted in living in that land. 28 It came about when Israel became strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but they did not drive them out completely. 29 Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who were living in Gezer; so the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them. 30 Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol; so the Canaanites lived among them and became subject to forced labor. 31 Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob. 32 So the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out. 33 Naphtali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; and the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and Beth-anath became forced labor for them. 34 Then the Amorites forced the sons of Dan into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the valley; 35 yet the Amorites persisted in living in Mount Heres, in Aijalon and in Shaalbim; but when the power of the house of Joseph grew strong, they became forced labor.
The Israelites didn't finish the ethnic cleansing job that God told them to do. They wound up living with their heathen neighbors, much to their future detriment. In our own personal lives, we haven't cleaned house and applied a big can of Holy Ghost whuppin' to the heathen spirits in our head and heart. How many spiritual Canaanites do you let live in your life? A TV show that isn't edifying, but is a guilty pleasure? Movies that are "pretty good, if it weren’t for ..."? Songs that glorify illicit sex or drugs but have such a great melody or base-line? Old buddies whose conversation takes you into the gutter? Just a little bit of gossip at the water cooler? Maybe you've got an amorous Amorite loose, letting your eyes spend a bit too much time appreciating the coeds? What's that? Only just a bit? An unhealthy dose of sarcasm? Is there a healthy dose? We've (at least myself, and I've probably got company) got a truckload of small vices that drag me down. There was a old Doobie Brothers album entitled What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. Ain't that the truth. When we let those vices settle in, we can fall prey to that mind-set that they are just habits and aren't sinful. Time for some spiritual ethnic cleansing. If the Devil doesn't like it, tell him to complain to the UN.

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