As we start this new book, here is a head’s up that we’ll be going back to our normal six chapters per week rhythm as we read through Deuteronomy. Sundays will go back to being a rest (or catch-up) day. For an overview (or refresher) on Deuteronomy, click here.
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Read Deuteronomy 7
Driving Out the Nations
7 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites,Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.[a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles[b] and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lordyour God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But
those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. 15 The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pityand do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” 18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lordyour God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will give their kingsinto your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. 25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.
At the beginning of Deuteronomy 7, God reminds Israel they are set apart as His. He sovereignly chooses Israel as His people and showers His love and compassion on them. His love is not based on Israel being the best, the greatest, or the strongest. God elected them as His chosen people as a free gift to them they could never repay. However, the Lord instructs Israel to cast off any idols and corruption in order for them to reach the Promised Land. They are also instructed to eliminate the Canaanites. God wants them to walk in obedience since He offers them a life that is better than anything they could imagine.
In verses 12 through 19, Moses reminds the Israelites that blessings will come if they are obedient. This is a promise the Lord makes to them, and the Lord is not a promise-breaker. However, Israel is terrified of the Canaanites since there are so many of them. In the final verses, Moses reminds the Israelites of God’s previous faithfulness and provision and tells them not to fear the Canaanites. Then Moses instructs them not to take the Canaanites’ belongings or covet anything that the Lord did not give them. It is clear the Lord hates idols.
One key takeaway from this chapter is found in verses 7 through 9. The Israelites have done nothing remarkable to obtain God’s favor, but God chooses them because He loves them. Verse 7 even says that the Lord has “set his love” on them. He is fixated on the Israelites and deeply desires them. This is true of us. We did not earn our way to a relationship with God nor did we do anything remarkable to prove ourselves, but the Lord has set His gaze upon His chosen people simply because He loves.
Additionally, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness and promises, and we can be confident in the promises He makes. However, like the Israelites, we are forgetful. Our failure and flesh can get in the way of us reflecting on God’s faithfulness. We are tempted to worship things besides God alone. Despite the ways God knows the Israelites can and will fall short, the Lord blatantly tells Israel He will make them prosperous against the Canaanites. They are still afraid, but even in their fear, God grants them favor over their enemies. What a truth to hold onto! Even in our fear and doubt, the Lord is unchanging and good.
- If you remember that the Lord has fixed His love on you, how would that change the way you view yourself and others?
- How can you reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness in a time of doubt or fear?
- How can you remember to walk obediently with the Lord, not to earn God’s favor but as a result of God’s favor?
Pastor David Guzik, in his Enduring Word commentary, says the following about the beginning of this chapter:
“This principle of battle until absolute victory is the key to victory as we take the Promised Land of blessing and peace God has for us in Jesus. We show no mercy to our enemies in the land, but we destroy them utterly. Many of us, truth be told, simply do not want to completely destroy the sins which keep us from God’s Promised Land of blessing and peace – we want to weaken them, and have some control over them, but we do not want to utterly destroy them.”
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4 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 7”
God loves me regardless of my shortcomings and my apparent weaknesses. It is like a parent who has a child with illness or developmental delays. No matter the money it takes or the time, they must commit, they endlessly labor for their child. That child is cherished.
I was drawn to the attributes of God mentioned throughout this chapter:
-exhibits anger towards serving other gods
-affectionate in showing unfailing love
-is among us
-the ultimate giver
Instead of fixating on idols, perceived problems, and selfish desires, let’s fix our eyes on the greatness of God and be astounded that we are invited into a forever relationship with him. Choose one of his attributes that you need most today and cling to it. May we fight to follow him and turn away from all things that drive us away from the Promise Keeper.
In this chapter I see BUT GOD over and over. He just LOVES. WOW!!! I not sure about y’all but everyday my brain tries to comprehend His love, that HESED love, and I know that I know it falls so very very short. God tried so hard to make things “easier” for these guys. They and we have just a few rules to follow. BUT GOD gave them so many blessings even in the messes. What I come away with is that I need to be more grateful. When trials come, as they will, how I respond is how the outcome is dependent on. If I try to “fix” it then it becomes a mountain, but if I turn to God and listen it becomes the molehill. BUT GOD has always always always been faithful. He always comes through even when I bumble and try to ‘fix’ it, He makes that mess into a message. My obedience should be my love for Him and desire to please Him with glory, honor and gratitude for all He does that I know and that I don’t know. I want to live up to what He has called me to be and do so that means I have to separate myself from the evil that entangles me. When the world raises up its head to try to make me stumble I need to remember to look to God for all my strength, source and information. BE GRATEFUL!! Someone said it like this last night at Sisterhood, calm delight.
God I want to bask in Your calm delight!!! Thank You for all You do that I do know about and all You do that I do not know about. I am so abundantly grateful!!! I know Your promises are yes and amen. You have done so many incredible wonderful works in my life. The forever change in my second chance with life has left me wanting to WOOHOO!!! 90% of my days. God show me, teach me, help me understand how to share that without being overbearing. Guide me in loving Your people, give me Your love goggles, thank You for wisdom and understanding with the minutes of this day. Thank You for today and the opportunities to be Your hands, feet and mouthpiece here and now in Jesus name amen.
WOOHOO!!! WOOOHOO!!! WOOHOO!!!!
• What immediately struck me is just how personal God is—“the Lord your God” is referenced 15 times in a chapter of only 26 verses.
• The Lord my God has a mighty purpose for me, and a bold plan to accomplish it, driving out many forces much bigger and stronger than me (v. 1). Guzik calls this “the principle of preparation.” God prepares us and the way ahead of us before he brings us into a place. What happens next depends on our faithful response.
• Verse 2 offers another powerful principle, one I would do well to remember and respond with faithfully, especially in my addiction recovery:
“When the Lord your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy.”
-Deuteronomy 7:2 NLT
“Many of us, truth be told, simply do not want to completely destroy the sins which keep us from God’s Promised Land of blessing and peace—we want to weaken them, and have some control over them, but we do not want to utterly destroy them” (Guzik). Testify! How often I am tempted to try and “weaken and control,” rather than “completely destroy.” My way only prolongs the battle—my sin enemies keep coming back again and again. If I would find total victory, I have to fight God’s way.
• I need to remember all God has done and promises to do for me – not because of any characteristic of mine, but because God. Loves. Me. “When we really believe God loves us, and live with that belief as a conscious fact, we find it so much easier to obey – and to utterly destroy anything that would damage that relationship of love” (Guzik).
Verse 22, “Little by little. “Sometimes to our frustration, this is the way God often works in our life. He clears things away little by little even though we might prefer it all at once. But God wanted Israel to grow spiritually in the process of taking the promised land. Doing it all might seem easier and better to us but we’ll have consequences we cannot see or appreciate. God cares that we grow, and so he grows us little by little” (Guzik).
Oh Lord MY God, thank you for loving me – and loving me enough to mark out such a marvelous future for me. May I fully trust in your preparation, plans and perfect timing, so that my response would be one of total, faithful obedience.