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A Snare to You

Daily Reading: Exodus 23

Scripture Focus: You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23.32-33)

Devotional Thought: Yesterday we read about sojourners and God's concern for them. Today, we see the other side of that concern. Just as God was concerned with the safety and dignity of the most vulnerable of society, he was also concerned with the health and vitality of the people. God knew that if his people 'made covenants' with the inhabitants of the land, that they would follow them into sinful practices, including the oppression of the vulnerable! So, God established protections for Israel, the flock of his care.

I happen to live in a sleepy little village that is 99% Anglo. At first glance there is little about multi-culturalism to be concerned with. There are socio-economic differences, however. And there is the whole sub-culture of addiction. What is the principle that guides us? Are there threats about which God is concerned?

Let's look at it through a spiritual and moral frame. What 'covenants' should I avoid in that regard? Are there activities and people that I should avoid in order to protect my life of love, generosity, holiness, and grace? I have a lot of friends who are addicts who tell me that they simply have to leave behind their former friends because those relationships will cause them to relapse. I also know that unguarded viewing of the internet has led many people astray when it comes to pornography. For others, there are living arrangements that threaten to undermine their testimony and godliness.

What things will you face today - relationships, activities, mindsets, etc. - that pose a threat to your spiritual health? God says we are not to make a covenant with those things! Don't even let them in the door!

Prayer: Father, help me to hold dear those things that are dear to you. Help me to avoid those things that are at odds with your kingdom values. Give me strength to resist temptation and wisdom to avoid it. Amen!

Psalm of the Day: 16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. 17 The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. 18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. 19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. 20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. (Psalms 77:16-20)

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