Judges 2:1-2 (KJV) And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
How odd is it to be surrounded by many people with whom you have nothing in common? The longer you remain in that environment, the more uncomfortable you will become. At some point, your level of uncomfortableness may lead you to begin to engage in some of the practices to not feel singled out. However, this is not always a good thing.
Understanding The Text
In the text, an Angel of the Lord is giving a charge to the people of Israel concerning moving forward after Joshua’s death (Judg. 2:1). The main thrust of what God was saying was that He forbade the people of Israel to formulate any unholy alliance with the surrounding nations. The purpose of not comingling with the inhabitants of the land was to prevent the introduction of chaos into God’s system of Divine Order within the community of Israel. The practices of the inhabitants threatened to pollute the worship practices of Israel and the special covenant relationship that they had with the One True and Holy God.
Sometimes we may have to walk the road of life alone apart from others, but we are never alone. God is always with us.
Why Is This Important To Us?
This is important to us because God has given us the same instruction in which He required obedience from the people of Israel in relation to being in proximity to the surrounding culture. The charge to remain separate from those within the surrounding culture and to refrain from participating in their activities still stands today. God desires to have the preeminence within our lives. In order for the order of holiness to remain undefiled within our lives, we must make a daily practice of separating ourselves from the cultural elements within the world which threaten to pollute the temple of the Holy Spirit (our lives) (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
It can sometimes be difficult to stand apart when all eyes are upon us. However, there must be a distinction between the holy things of God and the unholy things of the surrounding culture (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). It may feel uncomfortable but we must realize and understand that God never promised a life of comfortability. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of this world, the world would love his own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore, the world hates you…The servant is not greater than his lord. if they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…But all these things they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One Who sent Me” (Jn. 15:18-21).
It would be easier to go along to just get along. But that is not always the answer. Sometimes we will be talked about for standing up for Kingdom principles. It is okay. Sometimes we will receive maltreatment because of what we believe. It is okay. Sometimes others will turn their backs on us because we will not turn our backs on God. It is okay.
Being a citizen of the Kingdom of God is not without pain while we are here on earth. Although it would be much simpler if everything were perfect and life progressed each day without this pain, the truth is that sometimes…life as a Kingdom citizen just does not feel good. But it is okay because God’s presence within us will always be with us every step of the way (Isa. 41:10).