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In the Gates

Beware the Snare

The Second Commandment

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Exodus 23.23-25, 32, 33

When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you… You shall make no covenant with them and 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.”

2 Corinthians 10.3-5; Numbers 33.50-52

Israel is to worship and serve God only; she must make not pacts or treaties with the pagan nations around her, and she must diligently guard against their ways influencing her own. God knows us all too well. The law of sin that operates in our souls can be easily engaged by continuous contact with sinful influences. We may wish to do the right thing, and to be pleasing to God; however, if our worship or daily lives are compromised with the ways of unbelief, we will invariably stray from His path and offend against His holiness.

Once we begin dalliance around that snare, it will not be long before we are wholly caught up in it.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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