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One of the lessons that teens typically have to learn the hard way is that parents are usually a lot smarter than the teens might want to admit.

Within a few years of leaving home, most teens realize that Mom and Dad were right more often than the teen had thought.

And that usually means that there is a regret or two or three for not having followed parental advice.

It seems that the people of Israel during Joshua’s day were acting like teens for awhile.

God had told them to do whatever it takes to rid the Promised Land of corrupted-lifestyle people who didn’t worship Jehovah.

And the Book of Joshua describes how the Israelites did take control of the regions where the pagan people weren’t hard-core warriors with stubborn streaks.

But the first chapter of the Book of Judges describes a number of places for which the Israelites didn’t take God’s command seriously.

The Chosen People chose to disbelieve God’s warning that failure to “cleanse the land” would lead to national corruption and calamity.

It’s really sad.

In the minds of the Israelites, there wasn’t really a problem. After all, the pagans allowed to remain WERE serving as slaves and the Hebrews were the dominant forces — at least for a generation or so until Hebrew boys started carrying on with and even marrying pretty party girls from idol-worshiping tribes.

The remainder of the Book of Judges is a sad tale of spiritual compromise and recurring, humiliating tragedy for the Israelites.

If only the Israelites would have listened to their Jehovah Dad.

Listen, God says that you and I need to cleanse the enemy from the land of our individual lives.

Let’s pledge to rid ourselves of any allegiance to a stumbling block habit or vice or tainted philosophy that weakens our loyalty to scripture.

Let’s not think that we can hang out at the Carnal Corral and not step into a pile of spiritual compromise.

We can’t dance with the Devil and not have our toes stepped on or be sure that we won’t be danced off the edge of a cliff.

Whatever stubborn sin there is in your life, please heed the lessons of Judges — destroy its grip with God’s help before it decimates your spiritual vibrancy and possibly even leads to the destruction of your soul.

As always, I love you

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