Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 8, 2009

Deuteronomy 7

• Instructions Concerning Paganism | Deuteronomy 7:1-5

7:1-5 | Moses instructed the Israelites concerning their relationship to the other nations in Canaan, described as “seven nations greater and stronger than you” (7:1). Because these nations posed a spiritual and moral threat to the Israelites, they were forbidden from making any covenant or alliance with them (7:2). Entering into a covenant or contract would have required that each party take an oath in the name of their respective deity. Included in the prohibition against covenant making with the inhabitants of Canaan was the marriage covenant. The Israelites were prohibited from intermarrying with their pagan neighbors (7:3). The reason for this prohibition is given in verse 4: “For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods.” The danger of apostasy was a real threat. The consequences of Solomon’s intermarriage with foreign women in 1 Kings 11:1-13 illustrates why God gave this particular prohibition. Motivational speaker John Maxwell said, “If a child of God marries a child of the devil, the child of God is going to have trouble with the father-in-law!” Moses also instructed the Israelites to utterly destroy everything associated with idolatry (7:5).

We must not tolerate evil. | Moses instructed the Israelites to “show no favor” (7:1) to the Canaanites and to destroy every idolatrous item (7:5). Nothing was to remain that might possibly rouse their curiosity and lead them astray. Tolerating evil is a dangerous thing. It is not hard to pity what we tolerate and for things that repulse us at first to become attractive afterwards.

• God’s Choice of Israel | Deuteronomy 7:6-11

7:6-11 | Moses warned the Israelites against fraternizing with the pagan nations in Canaan (7:1-5). God had chosen Israel to be a holy people (7:6) whose lives were to be distinctively different than that of their pagan neighbors. God chose Israel not because of her strength of numbers or greatness (7:7) but because of His love for them and to honor His promise to Abraham (7:8). That love was expressed in their redemption from Egypt (7:8). The privilege of being a chosen people in faithful relationship to God would extend to generations (7:9). The price of being a chosen people characterized by unfaithfulness also was great, including severe judgment (7:10). Better to obey God and remain faithful to Him (7:11).

God’s people are to live holy lives. | God commands and expects His people to live holy lives. Those who belong to God should live lives that affirm and testify to their relationship to God. There must be a significant line of demarcation between the lives of believers and unbelievers.

• The Blessings of Obedience | Deuteronomy 7:12-26

7:12-16 | Moses spoke to the people concerning the blessings of obedience. Verse 12 contains a simple three-step manner in which to please God: “listen … keep … do.” Those who listen to and observe God’s word will experience God’s love (7:13), God’s blessings (7:13-14, evidenced in the multiplication of human, animal, and plant life), God’s healing (7:15a) and protection from diseases (7:15b), and military victory (7:16).

7:17-26 | Moses encouraged the warriors. He understood the concerns of those who go into battle. The first battle a warrior must fight is in his heart and mind or the battle against fear. Moses told the people to not be afraid (7:18) as they faced nations greater than them (7:17) on the battlefield. Moses told the Israelites that understanding several things would calm their fears.

First, remembering the way in which God miraculously delivered them from Egypt (7:18-19). Their deliverance was secured by God’s “mighty hand and … outstretched arm” (7:19). God would employ that same mighty arm in their defense in battle (7:19).

Remember past victories. | Remembering past victories can give us the confidence to face future battles. Memory can be one of the most powerful weapons we can employ in the face of present difficulties and future challenges. It can dispel fear and drive away doubt. It can inspire confidence and ignite action. Remembering past victories over difficulties and challenges can remind us of God’s ability to help us deal with anything that touches our lives. The writer of Hebrews stated, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). We can be certain that the same God who helped us meet yesterday’s challenges will help us as we face the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Second, by being aware that God would go before them in battle and deliver the enemy into their hand (7:20-24). The “hornet” (7:20) that God sent against the Israelite’s enemies was the emotion of fear which brings with it the companions of panic, depression, and discouragement.

God never intended for us to face life’s battles alone. | God did not lead the people to the threshold of the Promised Land only to send them in to fight the inhabitants on their own. God did not say, “Good luck, I hope you can beat those guys in Canaan.” God promised to go before His people and with His people.

Third, maintaining a proper understanding of God (7:21). Moses referred to God as “a great and awesome God” (7:21). God was certainly greater and stronger than their enemies. The Israelites needed to focus on God’s power rather than that of their enemies. The best way to magnify danger is by looking at our own strength rather than God’s mighty power.

Problems are big only when our God is small. | Moses referred to God as “a great and awesome God” (5:21). It is not possible to keep difficulties and challenges in perspective when our view of God is puny. There is absolutely nothing we will ever face in life that is bigger than God. He is bigger than anything we will ever face. He is better equipped than we are to deal with the things that touch our lives. He is able to bring beauty out of the things that touch our lives.

Fourth, not growing weary in the face of their problems. Moses told the people that their enemies would be dealt with “little by little” (7:22). There were numerous battles to fight in the Promised Land. Someone has said that problems are like cows, noting that the most difficult thing about milking cows is that they never stay milked. The conquest of Canaan would not happen overnight.

Life by the inch is a cinch! | Someone noted that life by the inch is a cinch, but life by the yard is hard. Moses reminded the people that the conquest of Canaan would not happen overnight. They would fight and then settle on the land secured by their victory, and then fight and settle again until the land was conquered. Every small victory would contribute to the larger objective of conquering the land. Canaan would be conquered by the inch. — Please take a moment to read my post entitled Life by the Inch.

Fifth, not tolerating anything that had the potential to turn their hearts away from God (7:25-26). The Israelites were to thoroughly destroy every idol they encountered in their conquest of the Promised Land.


  1. […] Not Conformed « Reign of Faith1Deuteronomy 7 « Go Beyond […]

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