They clearly understood that they were to forsake the world and serve God only. In obedience, they would live and prosper, and in disobedience they would reap death and despair. They were told to destroy their enemies but often chose to live with them and even adopt and worship their gods — “they did not destroy the peoples, as the Lord commanded them, but they mingled with the nations, and learned their practices, and served their idols, which became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted, with the blood. Thus they became unclean in their practices and played the harlot in their deeds.”
To mingle here means to join in with, share with, undertake; to be surety for someone, meaning to be contracted to be responsible for another.
John also cautions all of God’s people not to mingle with the world and says, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves 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 boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
We, as God’s priests, must not mingle nor touch the things of this world but rather commune with God by entering the Holy of Holies through the blood of Jesus. We are not to be conformed to this world but rather “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Paul said, “'Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me,’ says the Lord almighty.”
References: Psalm 106:34-39; Isaiah Chapter 5; I John 2:15-17; Hebrews 3:12-14; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Romans 12:2
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