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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Deuteronomy 7

 

 

Verses 1-26

ISRAEL SEPARATED TO GOD

(vs.1-11)

Again the Lord emphasizes the importance of Israel's sanctification from the nations. When they entered the land, God would give them victory over the inhabitants, as He had promised, seven nations greater and mightier than they (v.1). But on Israel's part there was to be no mercy shown to these enemies. They were to utterly destroy them (v.2). This is a picture of believers today being responsible to destroy the deception of evil spirits in opposing the truth of the Word of God in such a way as to deprive us of our rightful inheritance. We must not in any way compromise with satanic pressure.

Marriages with these enemies are expressly forbidden (v.4), for the foreign spouse would influence the Israelite to serve idols. All Scripture has consistently warned against such mixtures, and 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 is clear and decided as to this question, "Do no be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." If an Israelite was told to avoid a yoke with a Gentile, how much more today is a believer to form no bound with an unbeliever. This is God's Word, which is enough for every obedient heart, but if one is disobedient, he can expect to suffer painful consequences.

Israel was to have no hesitation in destroying the altars of these enemy nations, their sacred pillars and all their images (v.5). However attractive these things looked, they must not dare to spare any of them. In spirit of such clear laws from God, king Ahaz of Judah saw an altar in Syria and required the high priest to pattern one after this for Jerusalem (2 Kings 6:10-13), displacing the altar of God's design (v.14). Today in the professing church many similar things have been done (in a spiritual way) that are insulting to the living God.

Israel was "a holy people" to the Lord, who had chosen them as a people for Himself, a special treasure above all others (v.6). Since they were exclusively His, they should both deeply appreciate this honor and act constantly in positive testimony for Him, which is contrary to the course of the world.

As for Israel, so for the Church today, the Lord did not set His love on them because of their large population, for they were few in number (v.7). His love for them was sovereign, not influenced by natural considerations, but moved by pure divine wisdom, wisdom that had chosen their fathers and promised their fathers marvelous blessing that could come to their descendants. This love had already accomplished their amazing liberation from Egypt, so it was proven beyond doubt to them (v.8).

Therefore Israel was to fully recognize that God is absolutely faithful, perfectly dependable in keeping the covenant He had made, however many generations would follow. If Israel would keep God's commandments they would find Him true to His Word in blessing them (v.9). But also, if they refused to obey, they would find Him true to His Word in repaying their wrong doing in destroying them (v.10). Therefore, it was only wisdom to fully observe God's commandments, statutes and judgments.

BLESSINGS RESULTING FROM OBEDIENCE

(vs.12-26)

Promises of blessing from God on condition of Israel's obedience ought to have induced them to be diligent in observing His laws. He promised them that if they would obey, He would keep His covenant which He swore to their fathers (v.12). Actually, whether they obeyed or not, God will eventually keep that covenant made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for it is unconditional. Yet if Israel had obeyed God, they would have reaped the benefits of the covenant in the land, from which they would never to put out as long as they obeyed.

God would love and bless and multiply Israel on the ground of their obedience. He would bless them with children, bless the fruit of their land, prosper their crops of grain, wine and oil, and increase their livestock (v.13). He would bless them above all other nations, with not one male or female barren, whether of humans of livestock (v.14). This would have been marvelous indeed, though we know it did not take place. In the millennium it will be so, however, because God's covenant with the fathers cannot fail, and the grace of God will accomplish what law never could.

They would suffer no sickness nor any of the terrible diseases they had known in Egypt, which instead their enemies would suffer (v.15). They were again warned to destroy all the inhabitants of the land, not showing any pity and not being deceived by their idolatry (v.16). If they were tempted to fear these nations because they were greater than Israel, they must not give in to such fear, but remember well what the Lord did to Pharaoh and Egypt, including the great signs and wonders that proved Him superior to every enemy, for God would as effectively destroy all the power of those in the land as easily as He disposed of Egypt's power (vs.17-19).

In fact, God would send the hornet among their enemies, striking fear into their hearts, so that Israel would have no difficulty in destroying them (v.20). A hornet is a small, insignificant insect, but the weapons of an army cannot withstand an attack of hornets. The soldiers would not stand and fight Israel while pursued by hornets! Whether this is entirely literal or not, still it teaches us that God can use the most trifling means of putting His enemies to flight. Israel was warned therefore not to be terrified (v.21). We today need to be reminded by the words of the Lord Jesus, "Do not be afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear. Fear Him who, after Has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him" (Luke 12:4-5)!

Yet Israel is told that God would not abruptly destroyed the enemies all at once, but drive them out a little at a time, for if the land was not immediately repopulated, wild animals would so increase as to cause another problem. But Israel must not be discouraged by the length of time this would take, for God would without fail enable them to finish the work (vs.22-23).

God would deliver the kings of the nations into their hands to be destroyed. They must burn their carved images, and not even desire the silver and gold of which the idols were made. All was to be devoted to utter destruction, for any remaining semblance of these evils would be a snare to Israel (vs.24-25). In God's sight the entire idol was abomination. No part of it could be sanctified to Him. More than this, Israel was told to detest and abhor such idols, not only to avoid them, but to hate them (v.26), for they were under the curse of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 7:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/deuteronomy-7.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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