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No Compromise

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Scripture: (Exo 34:12-16 NKJV)  "Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. {13} "But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images {14} '(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), {15} "lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, {16} "and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods.

Observation: While it may seem strange to us that God would tell His people to go into the land He was giving them and completely wipe out all the people already living there, we must understand the reasons.  The basis for this command is found in the text for today.  The BKC explains: “Making a treaty with idolaters would lead to involvement in their sacrificial communal meals (34:15), to intermarrying their daughters (many of whom were spiritual and/or physical prostitutes to their gods; cf. Hosea 4:13-14), and even to making molten images (Ex. 34:17; cf. 20:4) as they had already done with the gold calf (32:4). Tragically Israel did not heed these warnings and they did in fact become involved in worshiping the Canaanites’ and others’ false gods. Ultimately this led to Israel being exiled.”

It wasn’t only the danger of rejecting God and accepting idols, it was rather what the worship of those idols would, and indeed did, lead them to do.  Many of the pagan practices included not just the worship of idols but temple prostitution and ultimately the sacrifice of children in the fire to those idols.  God knew how low such compromises would lead them and was trying to protect them from such horror.  Sadly, in their blindness and stubbornness, the Israelites disobeyed God, didn’t destroy all the people, entered into relationships with them, accepted their gods, and did sacrifice their children and their altars, both spiritually and physically.

Application: The application for us as parents today should be as clear: don’t compromise principle, choose carefully what you expose your children to.  I am amazed at how lightly parents today take the issue of Adventist education as opposed to any other.  It’s as if we have been so blinded that we don’t see what harm our children could experience if they went to a public school or a Christian school of a different faith, or what problems may arise if they become close friends with non-Adventists, or what problems may exists if they marry them.  And yet, all of us know from personal experience so many people who have indeed taken these steps and now they or their children are no longer Adventists or even believe in God.

So, watch carefully what you expose your children to – what they read, what they watch, who they associate with, where they go to school, etc.  Those decisions could have eternal consequences.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, today as during the Exodus we as parents need all the wisdom You can possibly give us to make the right decisions.  I may not be anymore challenging to be a parent today than in other times, but this is our time, these are our challenges, and those are the decisions we have to make.  So, please endow us with the courage, the strength, and the wisdom to do what is right, even if it’s no popular with our children or others.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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