Joshua 23 - Joshua’s Farewell Address
“Now, vigilantly guard your souls: Love GOD, your God. Because if you wander off and start taking up with these remaining nations still among you (intermarry, say, and have other dealings with them), know for certain that GOD, your God, will not get rid of these nations for you.They’ll be nothing but trouble to you—horsewhips on your backs and sand in your eyes—until you’re the ones who will be driven out of this good land that GOD, your God, has given you.” Joshua 23:13 MSG
I have thought a lot recently about the proverbial thorn in your side. We all have that one thing we cannot master and always returns to haunt our souls. I am discovering that it is not the thorn I must learn to remove. It’s the source of the thorn. The root of the problem. The deep down pain-wrenching foothold that must be dealt with. Only then will the thorn’s sting begin to vanish. For some people it is a person with whom they are not aligned as the scripture mentions. This is OT stuff and in no way an assertion that inter-racial relationships are dangerous or evil. That was a different time.
For me the thorn is a result of a sense of entitlement that has always led me to eventual pain. I’m learning how to turn off the entitlement thread. For others it is allowing addiction or despair to keep them wandering away from God and causes the thorn to once again pierce into the soft unprotected side of your heart.
“How often we see that the temptation we have pampered and encouraged and indulged in has become a scourge and a thorn in our side. The compromising Christian is not a happy man. Let the enemy remain in a Christian life, let him have one foothold, and he soon becomes a scourge.” (Redpath)