Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you.”
The Israelites were warned what would happen if they left corrupting influences in their land. The people would be led astray by marrying foreigners and enticed to worship false gods. This was not just a problem for the weak minded. Solomon himself became caught up in trying to please his foreign wives. Even though he built the magnificent temple to God, he built other temples to the gods of his wives.
We allow sin in our lives with the argument that a little bit can’t hurt. A beer now and then won’t make me an alcoholic. A movie with scenes that cause lustful thoughts won’t cause an affair. Playing the lottery every once in a while won’t hurt anything.
Maybe these things won’t hurt. We may have enough self control to not fall into a snare that these things lay. But are you willing to bet your health, your marriage, or your finances on these things? When we fall for a snare, these are the things that we stand to lose. And the point of a snare is that it is hidden. It doesn’t look like an obvious trap until after it is sprung and we are stuck in it.
The Israelites bet that it wouldn’t happen to them and they lost big time. The consequences of the Israelites’ actions are evident in the next devotion. When we don’t remove snares from our life, we’re making the same bet.