Exodus 23.32,33 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.
The principles of God are timeless. Though there may indeed be contextual distinctions that need to be adhered to when reading and teaching the Bible, the principles of how God intends for His people to live are unchanging. Here God is preparing to deliver His people out of Egypt and into the promised land. But He is going to do it through a Messenger in Whom dwells The Name of God. Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. Of course, that is Christology, a pre-incarnate appearance of The Lord Jesus Christ. After having been delivered out of Egypt, they were to resist the temptation to enter into a covenant with the false gods of these nations. To do so would be a snare for them.
Fast forward the history of these people and see what happened. In Judges 2.1-4 we read, 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? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the Lord spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.
Tragic! Instead of being separated unto God, they were snared by the gods of this world. Instead of being instruments of reconciliation, they fell prey to the ease of assimilation into the ebb and flow of society. They ended up in Bochim, weeping.
God never intended for His people to be snobbish, holier than thou individuals who lack the grace and love of Jesus. But He does call us to be holy. Different. It is not easy to swim upstream. It is not easy to draw the line in the sand when the people around us are seeking to squeeze us into the mould of this world’s way of thinking. But when we choose to live after the flesh instead of after The Spirit, we too you will find ourselves in Bochim, snared and weeping. Are you being separated unto Christ or snared by the world beloved? To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Is there really a choice?