Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.
When Israel entered the land of their inheritance they were to utterly destroy every one of the Canaanites. They were to show no mercy to them, make no peace treaties, and not intermarry, for doing so would result in their apostasy from God (vv. 1–5).
The reason why Israel was to utterly destroy the Canaanites and their gods and make no peace treaties with them was because God chose Israel from all other peoples to be his holy people. His election of them was based entirely on his sovereign love and according to his purposes. It was not based in any way on them (vv. 6–8). Intermingling Israelite and Canaanite cultures and worship was contrary to their standing as God’s holy people.
Because of who God is and because of his righteous judgment Israel was to obey all of God’s commands (vv. 9–11).
When it came to Israel’s experience in the land, God promised prosperity in every aspect of life, freedom from sickness and disease, and victory over the Canaanites. Such blessings would be Israel’s only as they listen to and obey God’s ever command (vv. 12–16).
Furthermore, Israel’s feelings and desires were to be controlled by God’s past works, his “behind the scenes” providences, his presence, and his plan. Thus, Israel should not have feelings of fear toward the Canaanites, though vastly outnumbered and outmatched by them, because God would give the victory. Also, Israel should not desire what God condemned. Doing so would ensnare them, bringing God’s judgment upon them. Because God hated it, they were to hate it (vv. 17–26).
- These blessings (and curses) from God to Israel were actual and literal. Christians should not expect such in this dispensation for they are not under Mosaic Law.
- God commands what his people should do, how they should feel, and what they should desire.
- God’s electing grace springs from his discerning, sovereign love and is according to his purposes. God’s election is never based on human beings; there isn’t a single person who merits God’s grace.
- God’s people must always remember God’s past works, his providences, his presence, and his promises.
- Disobedience brings trouble.
- God’s commands are clear and simple and should not be rationalized or ignored.