Judah could not dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the people of Judah. Joshua 15 v 63
This whole chapter describes the territory that later became the Southern Kingdom of Judah, which was Israel in Jesus’ time. Everything seems straightforward until the very last verse! The Jebusites were never expelled –and that created problems later on. In Judges 3 vv 5-6 we read ‘The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.’
And they were still there in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah – over 800 years later – causing problems!
“The people of Israel, including the priests and the Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the neighbouring peoples with their detestable practices, like those of the Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Jebusites, Ammonites, Moabites, Egyptians and Amorites. They have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, and have mingled the holy race with the peoples around them. And the leaders and officials have led the way in this unfaithfulness.” (Ezra 9 vv 1-2)
Here is a picture of repeated failure to do what God had commanded, and the long-term consequences that accompanied it.
That can so easily happen in our lives. We know what we should do but over and over again we decide to ignore the issue and continue with our lives as if it didn’t matter. It may be with the use of our money and learning to be generous to others; it may be with the use of our time so that a selfish attitude takes hold of our spare time; or even in relationships where we are gradually drawn away from our prior commitment to following Jesus. An apparently small thing, if neglected, can spoil a whole life. It can be the cancer that eats away at our souls.
For reflection: Has God shown you something you should be doing and you have gone on ignoring Him?