God’s Commandments—His Rules Have Reasons

You can learn today what the tribes learned too late.

The names may not sound like much. Names like Beth Shean, Taanach, Megiddo and Gezer. These were cities whose residents the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim failed to drive away. So what?

God’s Commandments—His Rules Have Reasons

(Photo: Megiddo sat in a strategic spot. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Why not let the inhabitants live in this region since they wanted it so badly? The Lord knew why. The failure of the tribes to drive out the inhabitants defied God’s commandments to resist the culture. Instead, God’s people tolerated the culture . . . and then embraced it.

Their example urges us to evaluate God’s commandments in our own lives.

His rules have reasons. (And they are good ones.)

The Reasons for Rules

Ephraim and Manasseh refused to drive out the Canaanites in these key cities. These sites dotted the busy international highway that represented the front door to Israel. Not taking control of these cities amounted to not locking one’s doors at night.

This compromise produced disastrous results, just as the Lord had it would:

Their gods will be a constant temptation to you (Judges 2:3, NLT).

God’s Commandments Serve to Protect Us

It always seems easier to mingle with the culture than to oppose its influence—to find the middle ground rather than stand on our own.

But God knows better, and so He commands us:

  • “Do not be conformed to this world.” (Romans 12:2)
  • “Flee immorality.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
  • “Do not covet.” (Exodus 20:17)
Panorama atop Tel Beth Shean

(Photo: Panorama atop Tel Beth Shean. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Come learn lessons like these in the lands where they happened! Journey with me to the amazing Holy Land on my upcoming trip to Israel. See the details, browse the tour itinerary, and download a FREE brochure! After your journey to Israel, you will never be the same!

God’s Commandments Reveal that All Decisions are Spiritual Ones

Controlling those key cities in Israel meant monitoring key points of entry into their lives. It wasn’t just a military issue.

It was spiritual.

In the same way, we must guard the critical points of entry into our hearts. For example:

  • church doctrine
  • music, television
  • the Internet
  • movies
  • marketing

No doubt, obedience to God’s commandments is tough. It comes at a hard price—but not as hard as the results of compromise.

Just as with the Canaanites, our culture fights to stay entrenched in our hearts—hearts we have given to God. As we consider our culture’s tug today, we must also consider God’s words again:

They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.

God knows more of what we need than we know ourselves.

Tell me what you think: How do you apply God’s commandments to guard against your culture? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.

• These 90 devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, will help you apply the truths of God’s Word to your daily journey of faith.

• You’ll enjoy pertinent Scripture, inspirational quotes, photographs, maps, and a daily prayer.

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