Songs and Praise
   

 
 
 

Less 122 THE DANGER OF EVIL ASSOCIATIONS

 
Deuteronomy 7:1-26; II Corinthians 6:14-18;

Lesson 122 Senior Lessons

MEMORY VERSE:  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with un-righteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (II Corinthians 6:14).

I Israel to Dispossess Seven Nations

The Israelites were not to make a covenant of any kind with the nations whom God would deliver into their hands, Deuteronomy 7:1, 2; 9:4; Exodus 23:32, 33 No matrimonial alliances were to be formed with the heathen people, that idolatry might be kept away from God's people, Deuteronomy 7:3, 4; Joshua 23:11-13; Judges 2:11-23; 3:5, 6; II Corinthians 6:14, 15 The heathen altars were to be destroyed and the images broken down and burned with fire, Deuteronomy 7:5; Judges 6:25, 26; II Kings 23:12-15

II Israel a Special People

The Lord had chosen Israel to be a special and holy people unto Himself, Deuteronomy 7:6; Psalm 50:5; Amos 3:1, 2; II Corinthians 6:16, 17; Titus 2:14 Israel was chosen as God's representative because He loved them, and He would keep the oath made unto their fathers, Deuteronomy 7:7-12; I Samuel 12:22; Psalm 44:3; Romans 8:28; I Corinthians 8:3 By keeping God's commandments, Israel would be blessed above all people on the earth, Deuteronomy 7:13-16; Psalm 1:1, 2; 144:9-15; John 13:17; 14:21; II Corinthians 6:18

III Israel Invincible

The Lord encouraged the people by bringing former victories to their remembrance, Deuteronomy 7:17-19; Judges 6:13; Psalm 77:10-12 Hornets were promised, to make the heathen willing to go, Deuteronomy 7:20, 21; Exodus 23:28; Joshua 24:12 The seven nations were to be dispossessed just as fast as Israel could occupy the land, Deuteronomy 7:22-24; Exodus 23:29, 30; Joshua 10:24, 25, 42; Isaiah 54:17; Romans 8•35-37; I Corinthians 15:57 The silver and gold of the graven images were an abomination unto God; they were to be utterly detested and destroyed, Deuteronomy 7:25, 26; Joshua 7:1, 21; I Timothy 6:9, 10

NOTES

'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever' (I John 2:15-17).

Disposition of the Canaanites

God brought Israel out of Egypt, that He might bring them into the Promised Land. The present inhabitants were very wicked and idolatrous and had defiled the land. We read: 'And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them' (Leviticus 20:23). God hates sin and idolatry, and is sure to bring judgment upon it.


'For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off' (Psalm 37:22). The Lord repeated His command utterly to destroy all the inhabitants of the land; to make no covenant with them, nor show them mercy. Here we see a very strict caution against all friendship or fellowship with idols and idolaters. Those who are taken into communion with God must have no communication with the unfruitful works of darkness.


It may seem that a very cruel and unmerciful work was here appointed, yet it was God's work and in its time and place it was needful and acceptable. The seven nations of Canaan had ample time to repent, had they so desired. A period of more than 400 years expired between the time God made the covenant with Abraham to give him this land, and the entrance of Israel into Canaan. Any overture toward repentance would surely have been noted by the ever-merciful God; but we cannot find any instance of repentance on the part of these nations, or of their turning from their wickedness.

A Helping Hand

The Children of Israel were not called upon to do this work of destruction alone. God's assurance was that He would fight with Israel and for Israel. The Lord had decreed that His enemies should be cut off from the earth. This severity was appointed in order to prevent the mischief they would do to Israel if they were left alive. The people of these abominations must not be allowed to mingle with God's holy nation lest that nation be corrupted. Better that all these lives should be lost from the earth than that the true religion and worship of God should be lost in Israel.


Thus would God deal with the lusts that war against our souls. He has given us the power over them in the promise, 'Sin shall not have dominion over you' (Romans 6:12-14). Let us not, then, make covenants with them nor show any mercy, but mortify, crucify, and utterly destroy them. If we do not, they will be a snare to us and as surely overcome us as these idolaters overcame Israel in later history.

Communications Prohibited

Willful sinners are haters of God. 'The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be' (Romans 8:7). Idolaters are haters of God in a special manner, for they are in league with His enemies. There was such a covenant and com-munion established between God and Israel as was not between Him and any other people in the world. Should they put themselves upon the level with other people when God had thus dignified and advanced them above all people? As God had taken them to be a special people unto Himself, will they not then take God to be a special God unto themselves, and no other besides Him? He would accept no less than this as their reasonable service. He will accept no less than this from us today (Romans 12:1).


To insure further the purity of Israel in their relationship with and worship of God, He instructed them to make no marriages with those who escaped the sword. To intermarry with the heathen was unlawful, because it was dangerous. This very thing proved of fatal consequence to the old world (Genesis 6:2). God said, 'For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods' (Deuteronomy 7:4). The Bible records the downfall of several men of high calling who persisted in this thing. Solomon paid dearly for his folly herein (I Kings 11:4; Nehemiah 13:26) ; and Ahab was another who made this fatal mistake (I Kings 16:31; 21:25).


Let us be wise in this respect and avoid the misery that befalls those who act in disregard to God's command: 'Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.' The Dispensation of Grace clearly indicates that we must remain 'in the Lord' when contracting marriage vows (I Corinthians 7:39). There is evidence on every hand of the sin of those who have erred in this respect. Avoid the pitfall; for one who marries a sin¬ner, in effect marries his sins. God will not countenance it in His people. (The Word gives special instruction to those who were married before conversion, See I Corinthians 7:13-16.)

 A High Calling

'Evil communications corrupt good manners' (I Corinthians 15:33) — and so they do. Israel could not mingle with idolaters and retain God's favor and blessing; just as truly must we, as Christians, have no 'fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them' (Ephesians 5:11). A person cannot mingle with the throng and have common interest with the world, the flesh, and the devil, without being corrupted. God wants His children absolutely uncorrupted in any wise by the spirit of this world. He always has and always will honor the people who stand for the truth in all its fullness and holiness.


Some religions are so mixed up with the world that you cannot tell the one from the other. The religion and worldliness that they practice are so nearly the same it is impossible to distinguish the difference between them. It is an abomination in the sight of God. 'Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.' Every spiritual revival or awakening has always been marked by a separation. When souls are born into the family of God, they no longer love the sinful world; they forsake the devil. God detests and utterly abhors sin; such a holy indignation against sin as this must we realize if we expect to be His children.

God's Temples

'What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?' It naturally follows that we must have some dealings with the men of the world; otherwise it would be impossible to transact our temporal business. A thousand occasions will occur, wherein we must converse with the world in order to carry out those affairs which cannot be done without the worldly people.


What is it, then, that the Apostle warns us against? He points out the danger of having more concourse with unholy men than is absolutely necessary. There can be no profitable fellowship between the righteous and the unrighteous; as there can be no communion between light and darkness. As Christ can have no concord with Belial, so a believer in Jesus can have no concord with an unbeliever. Imagine, if you can, how any true union could be between two persons while one of them remains in darkness and the other walks in the light. They are subjects not only of two separate kingdoms but two opposite kingdoms. They act on very different principles.

Danger

What are the consequences of not obeying this direction of coming out from among unholy men? No immediate effects may be apparent. Possibly it will not lead to immediate outbroken sin. Just as surely as one persists in it, though, it will sap the foundations of his spiritual strength. It will imperceptibly cool that fervency of spirit which attended his first love.


Almost invariably the man of the world will, by some manner or means, endeavor to bring over his acquaintance to his own opinion or party. As all good men desire and endeavor to make others good like themselves, so all bad men desire and endeavor to make their companions as bad as themselves. Even if they do not, still it is dangerous to be allied with them. Sin is a contagious plague that will be communicated to the man who persists in being too near it.


If conversing too frequently and too freely with worldly-minded acquaintances has no other ill effect upon a man, it will surely make him less heavenly-minded. It will put a bias on his mind that will continually draw him down to the earth. Instead of being wholly transformed in the renewing of his mind, he will be again conformed to this world with its vain conversation.


Thus it is that all those who fear and love God should come out from among all those who do not fear Him. In a plain Scriptural sense you must be separate from them; that is, from all unnecessary associations with them. The promise is expressly to all who renounce the company of ungodly men. God here promises all the blessings He has prepared for His children, both in time and eternity: 'And I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.'

QUESTIONS

1 Why were the Children of Israel forbidden to make covenants with the seven nations they dispossessed?
2 How were these nations to be treated?
3 What must be our attitude toward sin and sinners today?
4 Did Israel have to fight their battles alone?
5 On what condition did God promise to help Israel?
6 In what unique way did God promise to drive out the inhabitants of the land?
7 How does God help the Christian in his battles of life?
8 Whom would you consider to be an evil associate of a Christian?

 
   
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