The 16th chapter of Joshua concerns the children of Joseph, the land they were to be given. God decided such matters in ancient Israel. Of course the Tribe of Joseph basically consisted of his two son, Manasseh and Ephraim. In only 10 verses their “real estate” holdings are described.
But notice the last two verses of the chapter, sad really. Very informative, too. “And the separate cities for the children of Ephraim were among the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages. And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.” Joshua 16:9-10
The children of Ephraim (following the example of many of their brother tribes) did NOT expel all the heathen from their domain! They allowed the disastrous influence of such (wicked) people to stay close-by! The Ephraimites did not claim and did not act on God’s clear promise to “drive out” the enemies ahead of Israel’s approaching army! Read Deuteronomy 11:23 here. “The LORD will drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.”
That’s a sin, a failure of Israel’s faith, for sure! Remember Romans 14:23? “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin..”
But in today’s Bible Text there’s even more “danger” revealed, subtle danger in compromise!
“And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and SERVE UNDER TRIBUTE.” Verse 10 again.
They have now turned the dangerous Canaanites into “money-making” opportunities! Collecting “tribute” (could be “taxes”) from them, or more likely … making them into “slaves” in order to coerce free labor from them!
Getting rich … off things that are wrong in the first place!
Now they will NEVER get rid of the Canaanites!
Too costly a decision!
Oh, does that remind me of America today!
Abortion is wrong, period.
But it’s been turned into a multi-million (multi-billion) dollar industry these days! Too many people profiting by this dastardly procedure, really … “murder.”
To outlaw it now (unthinkable to most judges and politicians) would simply COST too much in jobs and scientific research and world esteem! And votes too, for unscrupulous lawmakers!
Some professing Christians too, deep into sins they should have mortified long ago, have turned their “enemies” into cuddly little “pets!”
Well, again … seems like Paul was right.
“For the LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10
What an up-to-date Lesson from such an ancient Text!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell