You shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.‘ But you have not obeyed My voice. Why have you done this? 3 Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall be thorns in your side, and their gods shall be a snare to you
Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals…. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.
… They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
It’s not some obscure teaching. The 1st commandment is repeated many times throughout the Bible. There is no room for ecumenism.
God confronts Israel with her acts of disobedience. He will no longer guarantee victory to his rebellious people.
Idolatry and intermarriage: 2:6-3:5. The author continues his preliminary explanations of the causes of Israel’s decline. The generation that follows Joshua, without personal experience of what God has done for his covenant people, are enticed into the pagan worship of the Canaanites’ Baals and Ashtoreths.
“Baal” designates Canaanite male deities in general, and often is associated with the place name (as Baal-peor, Num. 25:3). The word means “master,” or “owner,” and reflects the beliefs of ancient peoples that each locality had its own deity. Baal was also designated the most important god of the Canaanites. Because the Baals were thought to control the fertility of the land, sexual promiscuity was also associated with Baal worship.
“Ashtoreth” designates the ancient mother-goddess, modeled with exaggerated breasts and worshipped in earthy cult rituals.
The disobedience of Israel to God’s demand for a holy war left the Canaanites in the land, and tempted numbered generations to participate in their false religion and moral depravity. For some 800 years, until the Babylonian captivity, God’s people struggled with the temptation to worship the gods of the Canaanites among whom they lived.