It was on this day, in 1970, that one of many cease fires that have occurred during the many wars Israel has fought with her enemies went into effect along the Egyptian, Jordanian and Lebanese border. Like many more to follow, this cease fire did not produce a permanent resolution to the conflict Israel has with her enemies. nor will it. In fact, where Israel’s enemies are concerned, God told His people that they were not to make treaties or covenants with them (Deuteronomy 7:2-3). The Bible states the reason as being, entering into relationships with the people of the land would result in apostasy. In today’s world, I believe that the prohibition could be viewed in this way: most of Israel’s enemies don’t want peace in the land – they want a piece of land, and then another piece and another piece, until Israel is destroyed.
In every conventional war since 1948, Israel’s year of independence, the Jewish state has been victorious. On the other hand, the internal struggle that has been ongoing for the last 20 – 30 years, through the intifadas, suicide bombings etc. has deeply affected the stability of the state of Israel. Some Israelis are content to give away land in exchange for what they believe will be peace, while other Israelis want to keep the land because they believe that it’s their inheritance according to the promise that God made to Abraham and to Jacob. This internal war between the Israeli people has, indeed, resulted in concessions to the will of the nations, piece-by-piece.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, it’s clear that the tares are not sown in the field as an act of peace; they are sown in the midst of the wheat as an act of war. The tares are there to steal, to kill and to destroy. Think about the weeds growing in your garden: they steal the nutrients from the ground needed by the plants in your garden. If they thrive, they choke out and to kill your preferred plants, ultimately, destroying the entire point of having a garden, which is to produce the fruit. This is what the tares in the parable do.
The tares are not sown so that the wheat and tares can co-exist as friends or be partners in “peace.” The tares are sown to destroy the wheat, albeit, piece-by-piece. Also, it should be pointed out the tares are never content to live in peace but are aggressive by nature. If the tares could be satisfied with coexistence, why weren’t they left in their own field? The Adversary sows the tares because he is aggressive by nature and will never be satisfied with peaceful existence. He’s always going to want more of what God has deeded to His people.
Consider the concessions that have been made in our country over the last half century; concessions made to atheists, and the LGBT, for example? Are they satisfied with the gains they have made or do they want another piece of America? They’re not content but are continually demanding more ground, more legislations and more concessions from you and me. Again, the tares are never contented to coexist with the wheat. And so, I propose that we cannot afford to coexist with the culture in the way they define coexistence. We cannot afford to be tolerant of the things going on in our culture, as the culture defines tolerance. You and I are instructed in this manner:
“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18)
The issue at hand is a life and death matter; not just for you and me, as individuals, but for those people we are not to coexist with. Think about it: if we mix with the darkness, how can those in darkness discern what is light? Our Father calls us to come out from among them, not just for our sake, but for those who dwell in darkness, as well. So let our prayer, today, be that God would reveal those areas in our life where, ignorantly or knowingly, we tolerate the mingling of things that could prevent us from fulfilling our purpose to be the light. Let us pray that the Father will help us to discern those things and give us the strength to overcome and to separate ourselves to live a holy life. To be set apart from the world is not to be isolated from the world, but that we might be a source of blessing to those who are in darkness by being the light they need.