“Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities, but the Canaanites were determined to dwell in the land. And it happened, when the children of Israel grew strong, that they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out.”
And so it was in Judah and Ephraim before Manasseh. Tribe by tribe, they receive their long-awaited land. And tribe by tribe, once they have it, they ignore God’s instructions.
How normal this is-to follow directions to a “T” until we have what we want, and then drop all the effort once we feel secure.
This choice, across Israel, would come back to haunt them: uprisings, idolatry, comparison…our hearts can generate all these things without the extra help. But how tragic when it is OUR CHOICE and we allow factors in our life to remain when we know they defy You, and that, in time, they will lure our hearts away.
Show me my own heart. Show me harmful inhabitants to whom I have chosen to offer sanctuary, thinking presumptuously that I can enslave them to perform MY will, when all the while, they shackle my heart to deeper darkness and whisper that the light is now too far away for me to reach.
Daily, you reveal in me things I would prefer not to see; choices I would prefer not to see in that light.
But it is love that tells me the truth. So help me, Lord, to cherish the truth, even when it is uncomfortable, humbling, and calls for change.