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©John Yerkes

Chapter 7:9-26 (ESV)

Posted on February 12, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 7:9-26 (ESV) - “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. He will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

“And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. And the LORD will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. And you shall consume all the peoples that the LORD your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

“If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will the LORD your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover, the LORD your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. The LORD your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. But the LORD your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.”

Question to consider: Why did nations refuse to repent despite the mighty works of God against them?

When Moses said these words, there must have been a hopeful tone to his voice in speaking of all of the wonderful things that were in store for Israel if they were to continue to fear God and keep His commands. They had the promise of large families, flocks and herds. They had the promise of health and protection from diseases like those in Egypt.

They needn’t fear their enemies, for God would topple all of those nations who opposed them. Best of all, they had God’s promise to bless thousands of generations of their ancestors.

Unlike the surrounding nations, the God of Israel was God— the only God. You would think that all of the things God had done for them up until this point would have been motivating enough for Israel to keep from coveting the treasures and worship practices of the nations, but if we are honest with ourselves, the world is still full of temptations and treasures that are hard to resist even though they are outwardly in opposition to God. They promise short-term pleasure but create hardship, pain and death in their wake.

People always seem to want to judge God for purging these nations of sin, but no one ever stops to ask the question of why these nations didn’t repent when given the opportunity. Moses was speaking prophetically when he spoke of God outstretching His arm against the nations they would come up against. We may see the actions of the LORD at Jericho with Joshua or against the Midianites with Gideon as historical, but Moses spoke the words of Deuteronomy well before these events took place. With all of the supernatural ways that God conquered these nations and turned their own gods against them, you would think the rest of the nations would have turned to Him. As Moses said, God “repays to their face those who hate Him.”

Maybe if Israel had followed God’s instruction to devote the unrepentant nations to destruction, they would have. The fact that Israel invoked the name of God while being ensnared to idols and temple prostitutes left enough room for these gods to live on.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for intervening in the world to rescue people who have declared themselves to be Your enemies. Thank You for suffering long with us while we continue to rebel against You. Please open our eyes to Your mercy and keep them fixed on Christ, our redeemer and justifier. Amen.