You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you. (Exodus 23:32-33)
A covenant is a very sacred and intimate relationship and, therefore, Israel was not to make covenant with the nations lest they connect themselves to their false gods. Consequently, they were not to coexist with these people and their ways. To do so, would have allowed them to keep their idols, which would increase the chances that God’s people would bow to them. In fact, God knew that if those idols remained, eventually, Israel would succumb to the enticement.
There have always been those who, because of their faith, felt they would be strong enough to withstand any temptation; they say, “I would never do that.” The reality is, though, when we think we cannot fall, we are setting ourselves up to do just that. We should not seduce ourselves into thinking that we can coexist with the world and not be influenced by its “gods” and heathen philosophies. In short, we can’t be “friends” with the world thinking that, in this way, we will win them over. It is more likely that we will get pulled down by their ways rather than pulling them up to ours.
That being said, we are in this world and are charged with the mission of going into the world to be witnesses of the Messiah. Therefore, we must engage the world; we must interact with them. We can’t be witnesses to those we can’t or won’t speak to. Consequently, you and I are left with a challenge: interacting with the world without coexisting with the world. In my view, there is only one way to do this — through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s not by might nor by power but by His Spirit that His Will is accomplished. So then, we are to live a set apart life even as we journey through this corruptible world.
Blessings and Shalom,