This week is the second of a three-week series titled “Lest we forget”. Deuteronomy chapters 6, 7, and 8, will be our text.
The key verse is Deuteronomy 6:12, which states, “Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.”
The children of Israel are getting ready to go into the promised land. Moses wants them to remember what has taken place in the last 40 years. He does not want them to forget.
This week we will look at Deuteronomy 7. Possessing the land.
Clear Direction (1-5)
“When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites,and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; 2And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: 3Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. 5But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.”
God gives the children of Israel clear direction on what to do when they get into the promised land. Reading what God says, it seems extreme. God uses words like possess, smite, utterly destroy, make no covenant with them, show no mercy, do not marry them, destroy their alters, break down their images, cut down their groves, and burn their images.
God created Israel as a holy people. He knew that the people of the land and their idol worship would draw Israel away from worshipping the one and only true God. So, the command was to destroy anything that would draw them away.
Although believers in Christ are not called to destroy all evil forms of worship, we are called to avoid it. The Bible states in 2 Timothy 2:20-23, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.”
We are to flee evil and follow righteousness.
How are we doing?
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001