The sin of inclusion
Judges 2:1-10 (JDV)
Judges 2:1 The agent of Yahveh went up from Gilgal to Bochim and he said, “I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your fathers. I also said: I will never invalidate my covenant with you.
Judges 2:2 You are not to cut a covenant with the ones living in this land. You are to tear down their altars.” But you have not obeyed me. What is this you have done?
Judges 2:3 Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap for you.”
Judges 2:4 When the agent of Yahveh had spoken these words to all the Israelites, the people raised their voices and wept.
Judges 2:5 So they named that place Bochim and offered sacrifices there to Yahveh.
Judges 2:6 Previously, when Joshua had sent the people away, the Israelites had gone to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance.
Judges 2:7 The people worshiped Yahveh throughout Joshua’s lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders who outlived Joshua. They had seen all Yahveh’s great works he had done for Israel.
Judges 2:8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of Yahveh, died at the age of 110.
Judges 2:9 They buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
Judges 2:10 That whole generation was also gathered to their fathers. After them another generation rose up who did not know Yahveh or the works he had done for Israel.
The sin of inclusion
God’s agent brought a word of condemnation at Bochim. He condemned the Israelites for tolerance of an enemy within their territory. They knew that God had given them the land, and that it was to be a holy land. But they failed to take seriously the threat that intermingling with pagans would entail.
Our generation faces the same condemnation, and is suffering the same punishment. We have made inclusion the highest good, and have resisted any warning of its danger. Among us there are those resist God’s call to holiness. They value their will over God’s word. They insist that our faith must be silenced, while their faithless lives must be first tolerated and eventually reproduced by us.
God punished the sin of inclusion by allowing it to continue. He knew the pagan lives and unholy religions of those nations he had told his people to drive out would entrap them. As long as they were allowed to stay within the borders of the promised land, they would disrupt families, incite rebellion, and embed themselves as pockets of resistance to peace and God’s will.
LORD, we confess the sin of inclusion. The secular, sinful and satanic has insisted that we allow them to dwell in our land, we tolerated them. For generations they have slaughtered our children, poisoned our minds, eroded our communities. We did nothing to stop them. Revive us! Restore in us a zeal for your holiness.