“But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.” Numbers 33:55-56 (KJV)
There is a certain ideology of the world today that likens Christianity to extremism of the religious nature. For some reason; fear, shame, or for whatever reason Christians are silent about the things concerning holiness in the life of the Christian; and the major extreme we as individuals must go to to root out, rid ourselves of all that is vile, evil and unholy.
We need to be extremist when it comes to dealing with unholiness. The first place is to begin within ourselves. Put it off. Christ Jesus has given us power and authority to deal with evil in ourselves.
The above verses are verses for Israel to deal with the evil of the land of Canaan they were about to conquer in the name of the LORD. The Canaanites had polluted the land with innocent blood; sacrificing children, and the elderly alike; worshipping unholy deities. God had given them more than 400 years to change their ways; but they did not. Now He was going to purify the land.
For the Christian we are to put off sin, and put on Christ. The apostle Paul speaks of spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:10ff); and that warfare deals with fighting sin within, and around us. That warfare does not involve the shedding of innocent blood. That blood has already been shed; the blood of Jesus Christ for our sins.
The warning of verse 56 above is that if we do not drive evil out, and we allow any of it to remain, then that evil will be a torment; just as thorns in our sides, and pricks in our eyes; the evil we let remain will be a vexing of our souls. May God help us.