After the celebration and excitement of the last chapter, we get to the heart of the problem in Israel. God gave clear direction to His people as they entered the Promised Land. He told them to defeat and destroy all their enemies in the land. He was trying to protect His people from the deadly worship of Baal. The people did some of what God said, but in several cases, they did not defeat their enemies, they dwelt with them. They chose their own way; instead of God's way just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The people of Israel were sure that they knew what was best so they allowed those foreign nations to dwell with them in the land. Obviously, God is not pleased so He promises to leave those nations in the Promised Land to test His people. When we think of obedience, we prefer to compare ourselves to other people, because they are doing "stuff" that I would never do. The problem with this comparison is that it is completely physical without any spiritual truth to it. Spiritually-speaking, we are all sinners in need of God's saving grace. My only comparison in this life is Jesus, the One I am supposed to follow and reflect. Why then do we compare ourselves with others? We do so because we want to feel good about ourselves and our partial obedience to God and His Word. Sadly, it just does not work that way, my friends. God will never see you in comparison to others; instead, He will always see you in comparison to Christ.

Help me, Lord, to stop comparing my life with the lives of those that live around me. Help me to live by only one comparison, the God-man, Jesus Christ.