When Almost Isn’t Good Enough.
“But the descendants of Manasseh were unable to occupy these towns. They could not drive out the Canaanites who continued to live there. Later on, however, when the Israelites became strong enough, they forced the Canaanites to work as slaves. But they did not drive them out of the land. – Joshua 17:12-13 NLT
They couldn’t drive out the Canaanites. That little statement speaks volumes. Their inability or unwillingness to completely exterminate the Canaanites from the land would come back to haunt them. It didn’t really matter that they would occasionally make them slaves. They were supposed to purge them from the land. And they didn’t. However big or small this remnant of Canaanites was, they would continue to have a negative influence on the people of Israel. It would be like attempting to break a nasty drug habit all the while keeping an assortment of drugs in your pantry. The likelihood of you remaining “drug free” would be minimal at best. The same was going to prove true for the Israelites. They would find themselves constantly harassed and negatively impacted by the presence of these people. No matter how much Israel may have felt that they had the Canaanites conquered, their presence would prove to be a continual problem.
What a reminder to you and me about the sin in our own lives. We can learn to tolerate it and live with it – rationalizing it away. But sin is sin and its presence will have consequences. That is why it is so critical for us to deal with it seriously and often. Which is why John encourages us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NASB).
Father, forgive me for the many times I have allowed the “Canaanite” to remain the land. Help me see the seriousness and the dangerousness of sin in my life. Don’t allow me to grow complacent of comfortable with it – no matter how small I may think it is. Help me to see it, acknowledge it, and confess it on a regular basis. Give me the strength to remove it from my life with Your help. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men