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Nehemiah 10:30, “(Therefore) We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.”
Why did they make this commitment?
Because when this intermarrying took place it ALWAYS led to compromise and the ultimate downfall of the people.
How can we guard our hearts?
In the book of Deuteronomy God gave the people of Israel some wise instructions as He was preparing them to enter into the Promised Land. These instructions are for us today.
Deuteronomy 7:1-4,26 , “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nation, and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn our children away from following Me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.”
When we first get saved it’s a clean slate as far as God is concerned. All the old things have passed away and are washed clean by the blood of Jesus and all things become new. Sin has been driven out and you’re a newborn creation in Christ Jesus.
But not too long into this walk temptations come our way. Old habits knock at our door. The old ways drop by for a visit to see if there may be any lodging for the night.
It’s when this happens (and it’s continual), we can apply these 4 tactics to keep them from overtaking us.
Last week we talked about the first one – We Make No Treaty
This week let’s look at the final three.
Our second weapon we can implement to defeat compromise is to –
Show No Mercy
When you think of mercy you think about someone who shows kindness, favor, or pity.
When God was instructing the people, He was telling them to show no mercy to their enemies, no kindness, no favor, and no pity.
I’m sure there were some people who may have felt rather bad about kicking the people out of the Promised Land who had lived there for generations before. “Maybe we could just coexist with them”, they said, “show them a little mercy, a little kindness, a little pity.”
“Hey, live and let live. Why can’t we just all get along?”
Listen, we don’t need to have pity on sin. We don’t need to show kindness to compromise. There’s nothing about sin that I want to get along with, how about you?
It’s those compromising sins that got you and I into this mess in the first place. Why have pity on them? Why show mercy to them?
God is saying today, “No matter how nice they may be, how presentable, how friendly, how seemingly harmless, you must show no mercy.”
Listen, some of these sinful habits in your life may seem like buddies. You may have been told and are convinced they are just part of who you are, part of your DNA, your heritage, even your nationality (Irish temper or Latin lover anyone?).
There are those things in our life that we’re convinced for whatever reason that are just “who we are”.
You ever said that about yourself? “Hey, it’s just who I am.”
But I challenge you today that it isn’t who you are. It’s who you WERE before Christ, but you are not the same. You are a new creation.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says,“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Satan does not want you to know that. He doesn’t want you to believe that. He wants to make you think that your DNA is greater than God, that your heritage is greater than God, that your experiences that have molded you are greater than God.
But God has created all things, and there is nothing that the Creator created that is greater than the Creator who created it!
Including your heritage, including your nationality, including your DNA!
Think about stories in the Bible, stories you’ve heard of others in history, people you know, and your OWN life testimony. When God gets ahold of people, when people have a genuine encounter with Jesus Christ, lives change. Directions change. Goals change. Speech changes. Thoughts change. Habits change. Priorities change!
The old has gone! The new has come!
Your spiritual DNA has been completely altered by the powerful, life giving, soul cleansing blood of Jesus Christ!
So show no mercy to your old man. Instead, be harsh with him, be intolerant, and be cruel. Crucify him daily at the foot of the Cross of Calvary.
First, we make no treaty! Second, we show no mercy!
And thirdly, we …
Share No Love
God warned them, “Don’t give your sons and daughters to be married to their sons and daughters”.
God knew their hearts. He knew their propensity to stray. God knew how easy it would be to compromise. God knew the heart was a fickle thing. God knew the subtlety of the luring away and the slow drift that would happen away from their first love.
It happened to Solomon. It happened time and time again with the people of God. It’s happened throughout the history of the Church. It’s happening today, and it may be happening in your life.
What have you married yourself to? What have you slept with, given your heart to, your affections, your attention?
There are many handsome and beautiful things out there that are beaconing you, alluring you with their charms. It could be a person, it could be a thing, it could be an activity. No matter what it is, if it draws you away from your first love, from your primary pursuit of God, from dependency upon God for your total satisfaction, if anything or anyone else out there “completes” you, you’ve allowed compromise a place at the head of the table of your heart and it must be shown the door.
Revelation chapter 2 describes 7 churches that are representative of the last days churches, each having their unique issues.
Revelation 2:1-5, “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him who holds the seven stars in His right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands. I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for My name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”
Just as we would not tolerate a divided heart from our spouse, God will not tolerate a divided heart towards Him.
Some symptoms of falling away from your first love are- Not spending time with Him in prayer and devotions, allowing someone or something else to be first in your priorities, having a thought life that is not pleasing to Him, becoming indifferent about sin in the world, becoming complacent about your testimony to others with your lifestyle choices and words.
If these things are apparent in your life, run back to Jesus and fall back in love with Him.
Show no love to the things that would cause you to compromise and fall away from God. Instead, detest it, despise it, loathe it entirely, utterly reject it.
It needs to make us sick to our stomachs.
So first we make no treaties, second we show no mercy, third we share no love, and finally, we –
Leave No Trace
God said, “When you go into the land I’ve prepared for you, I want you to totally destroy them.”
In other words annihilate them, vaporize them, completely eradicate them, take no prisoners, nuke ’em!
Listen, sin will be around as long as we are alive on the earth, but just because sin exists doesn’t mean we need to have any part in it.
That’s what God was saying to His people then and what He’s saying to us today.
We are in but not of the world. God has made all things new inside of us as a foretaste of what’s to come when He makes all things new. We are representatives of His Kingdom, not the world’s. We are a new creation and a reflection of Jesus Christ who now lives in us.
Imagine this scenario. People who knew you in Middle School or High School or College or many years ago or at a recent place of employment. How ever old you were and where you lived BEFORE you served Jesus. What kind of person were you? Okay, so imagine that same person comes up to you now after all these months or years.
Would they see a difference? I’m not talking about the extra pounds, wrinkles, and gray hairs, I’m talking about your countenance, your words, your lifestyle, that “aura” about you that makes you peculiar, different, and set apart because Jesus Christ is fully alive in you and flowing out from you.
If not, if there’s insufficient evidence of a real change. Or maybe if they at first would have seen it when you were first saved but the years have caused a drift back to the old ways, then it’s time to Nuke ‘Em.
Sin creeps in. It’s subtle. It gets a toe hold. It gains control. It causes compromise, slowly but surely. We start off with great promise, only to end up like Solomon as we invite 700 wives and 300 concubines into our hearts and divide our affections 1000 different ways.
How can we keep this eradicated in our lives? How can we vaporize these sinful ways? How can we take no prisoners? How can we Nuke ‘Em?
We die to ourselves daily, and take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.
Let’s take the wise advice God gave to His children back then and apply it to our lives today towards compromising sin.
We make no treaties. We show no mercy. We share no love. And we destroy completely.
Sin has been set aside one day for utter and complete destruction. One day sin will be no more. We dare not partner ourselves with it or we, too, will be set apart for destruction.
Like Solomon, you can continue to serve God, work for God, honor God’s laws and commandments, & live wisely. But the little compromises that seem so innocent and contained now are like a toehold into your heart. It has created an inroad into your life that will eventually expand and decay your heart from within, unless you do something about it.
Make no treaties. Show no mercy. Share no love. Nuke ‘Em.