10 They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day.
It was God’s command to “utterly” drive out the Canaanites and to make no peace with them. However, here we have the Ephraimites failing to drive out the Canaanites from Gezer either because they were afraid or because they were lazy – either of which leaves a “brand” on these people for future generations.
The fact that they sought to satisfy God’s command by bringing them under tribute only makes matters worse because now, not only are they disobeying God’s command, they’re profiting from it!
As we will see, this is a shadow of things to come as the children of Israel succomb to the temptation of idolatry – but that’s another day. For today, the encouragement is to listen for God’s command, and then not try to modify it to fit our needs.