“‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. ‘And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you.’” Numbers 33:55-56
When the Israelites were to inhabit the land of Canaan, they were to first drive out all of the inhabitants and rid the land of the idolatrous possessions as well. In the past, the Israelites gave in to pagan worship and the immorality that followed. The Lord told Moses to command the Israelites to remove all of the inhabitants and all that they owned. This command was to keep the Israelites free from the enslavement and entanglement of the sin that was associated.
There was also a stern warning that followed. If the Israelites did not obey and purge the land by driving out all of the inhabitants and their possessions, they would become as pricks in their eyes, as thorns in their sides, and trouble to them as they lived in the land. The Lord would evoke the same judgment and wrath upon the Israelites as He would on the inhabitants that the Israelites allowed to remain among them.
Although the Israelites would be walking into their promised inheritance, it did not mean that they were free from their previous temptations or free from the dangers of sinful entrapments. The Lord knew the Israelites’ weakness and He loved them enough to command them to remove the enticements and entrapments from their presence. It was their responsibility to obey the Lord to remain free from what they knew was against the Lord’s will. If not, they would face the consequences of being ensnared by their decision to disobey and the Lord would not withhold or lessen the punishment, but they would receive the same judgment as the inhabitants that they were to drive out.
God loves His children and He does not want His children to be captivated or entangled in sin. He warns His children and He gives them instruction on how to keep themselves free from the entrapments and entanglements of sin. When His children willfully disobey Him and join themselves to sin, they will receive the same judgment and consequence of sin as those that are not His children. Obey the Lord and do not remain among what the Lord considers as something that will become as pricks in your eyes, as thorns in your sides, and as trouble to you. There is a price for freedom; choose to remain free.
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,