We read in the end of Exodus 23 about Israel’s borders, its boundaries.
Did you ever stop and wonder why it was given borders? Why wouldn’t God’s people be without boundaries?
What do borders provide? They provide safety, identity, community. God set up boundaries for their good.
Reading this chapter made me think of many New Testament scriptures.
God’s people are to live within boundaries and it’s for our good, our safety, our identity, our community.
When someone in Israel is given the death penalty, it’s like killing off cancer cells before they multiply and kill the whole body. They were a danger to those around them. It’s like how the church is supposed to kick out those in sin who refuse to repent; the body must be protected.
When the land is only going to be opened up a little at a time instead of all at once, for their protection, it reminded me of the man who is freed of one demon only to have more return because it wasn’t filled with anything else.
God frees us and grows us bit by bit as we work to attain what we’ve already been given – sanctification, our holiness unto God. We learn to walk like Jesus more and more and to fill each part of our lives with His Spirit and life.
Driving out the inhabitants of the land with hornets even reminded me of the Book of Revelation, where locusts sting. I was picturing the land being cleared to be taken over by God’s people who are going to live with Christ and reign with Him on Earth.
Anything not of God must be driven out, beyond the boundary. We can’t remove sin from the world, but we can remove it from our lives and the church.
There is a warning at the end of the chapter to not let anything else remain within the borders because it’s a trap.
Don’t fall for the trap. Drive it all out. Be sanctified. Be holy. Be set apart for God alone.