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Deuteronomy 12:28-32

28 “Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.

29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared [p]to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31 You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.

32 [q]Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

There is something we are very prone to doing as people (and even animals do this), which is imitation. God knew the Israelites would be tempted to mimic the nations around them, even in their abominable acts, if left to their own devices. Spoiler, they actually did fall into doing these things, even though God gave them explicit directions.

Lest we compare ourselves and get on a high horse, we need to guard our own hearts. It may not always be in the way we worship (but sometimes it is.. oh, look what that church is doing), it may be in other areas of our life. We compare our lives to our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and mimic what they are doing. Buying cars and houses we can’t afford, clothes we don’t need that are ludicrously expensive.

Instead, we need to remember, God calls us to love him, and love others. Everything else is secondary, and if it isn’t bringing us closer to him, we need to really evaluate what we are doing, and make sure it is inline with His will.

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Deuteronomy 12:15-27

15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, [g]whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the [h]contribution of your hand. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all [i]your undertakings. 19 Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite [j]as long as you live in your land.

20 “When the Lord your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because [k]you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, [l]whatever you desire. 21 If the place which the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates [m]whatever you desire. 22 Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the [n]life, and you shall not eat the [o]life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses. 27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.

In all things they were supposed to remember God. Coming to the central place of worship to eat meat was a reminder that God was their provider. He also reminds them to take care of the Levites, and bringing the meat to the place of worship was a part of that.

However, God realized that it would be unfair to require them to always come to this place to eat meat if they lived a long ways off. So he makes provision for that, with only the reminder to drain the blood, which is still an important part of butchering an animal to this day. Part of this is to honor the life of the animal, some folks will even use the blood as fertilizer, so that it does not go to waste.

While we may not always butcher our own animals (and we certainly don’t do it in church), it is important for us to remember every time we eat, that God is our provider, and to thank Him for all His provision in our lives.

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Deuteronomy 12:1-14

Laws of the Sanctuary

12 “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess [a]as long as you live on the [b]earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their [c]Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. You shall not act like this toward the Lord your God. But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the [d]contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. There also you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all [e]your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.

“You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you. 10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the [f]contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.

13 “Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, 14 but in the place which the Lord chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

This reminds me of something I’ve heard and read before, which is this: that one can do all sorts of things in “service to God”, without actually loving, serving, and believing in Him.

It also reminds me of Cain’s offering back in the beginning. He wanted to be like his brother Abel and get God’s blessing, but he didn’t really want to do it God’s way, so he just brought some of the produce from his fields instead.

God reminds us that when we ask for something good, he isn’t going to give us a rock or snake, so why, when we serve him, do we bring him half-hearted gifts. He wants our whole heart, and when we give him that, it shows in our giving.

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Deuteronomy 11:18-32

18 “You shall therefore [n]impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as [o]frontals [p]on your forehead. 19 You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your sons may be multiplied on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as [q]long as the heavens remain above the earth. 22 For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him, 23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations from before you, and you will dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. 24 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as [r]the western sea. 25 No man will be able to stand before you; the Lord your God will lay the dread of you and the fear of you on all the land on which you set foot, as He has spoken to you.

26 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; 28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, [s]by following other gods which you have not known.

29 “It shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 Are they not across the Jordan, west of the way toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the [t]oaks of Moreh? 31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it, 32 and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am setting before you today.

I’m not sure if God literally meant for them to write his law on their foreheads, but He certainly wanted them to keep his law foremost in their minds.

The other bit that goes with this is to bind a reminder on their hands, and that definitely makes sense, and one wonders how many actually took this seriously as they struggled over the coming decades and centuries.

We need to know that we are fickle creatures, with our emotions and feelings trying to run the show, so we need anchors or reminders in our lives to keep us on track.

A few months ago I was at a church where they had scriptures on various signs of varying designs, and they were everywhere. In classrooms, in the fellowship hall, in the lobby, all over the place. And at first glance it seemed a bit over the top.

But I think they were onto something there, which is what God was trying to teach us in this passage. Put His word before you in as many places as possible, and it will serve as your guide throughout your day.

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Deuteronomy 11:1-17

11 “You shall therefore love the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. Know this day that I am not speaking with your sons who have not known and who have not seen the [a]discipline of the Lord your God—His greatness, His mighty hand and His outstretched arm, and His signs and His works which He did in the midst of Egypt to Pharaoh the king of Egypt and to all his land; and what He did to Egypt’s army, to its horses and its chariots, when He made the water of the [b]Red Sea to [c]engulf them while they were pursuing you, and the Lord [d]completely destroyed them;and what He did to you in the wilderness until you came to this place; and what He did to Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, the son of Reuben, when the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, their households, their tents, and every living thing that [e]followed them, among all Israel— but your own eyes have seen all the great work of the Lord which He did.

“You shall therefore keep every commandment which I am commanding you today, so that you may be strong and go in and possess the land into which you are about to cross to possess it; so that you may prolong your days on the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their [f]descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your [g]foot like a vegetable garden. 11 But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, 12 a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the [h]beginning even to the end of the year.

13 “It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul, 14 that [i]He will give the rain for your land in its season, the [j]early and [k]late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil. 15 [l]He will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 [m]Beware that your hearts are not deceived, and that you do not turn away and serve other gods and worship them. 17 Or the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.

This section reminds me of something Jesus said to Thomas many years later. Here they are, having seen the miracles of God, even though they were children at the time, these people have seen everything God has done throughout the last 40 years… incredible miracles, and mighty acts of deliverance.

So this is essentially a reminder to them, when you’re tempted to forget God, remember what you’ve seen Him do.

But Thomas had a similar problem, he wouldn’t believe Jesus was alive unless he saw and touched Jesus’ wounds. He would get that opportunity, but Jesus told him that those who had not seen, yet still believed, would be even more blessed than Thomas who believed because he had seen the risen Savior.

That is what Jesus was saying about us, we will be blessed for our belief and trust in Him, but that doesn’t mean God does no miracles in our lives. Sure, we may not have a pillar of cloud to lead us, or get food dropping from the sky, but His provision is in our lives every day, and His handiwork is everywhere to be seen. Remember, when God seems far away, look for His miracles, and you’ll see His fingerprints all around you.

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Deuteronomy 10

The Tablets Rewritten

10 “At that time the Lord said to me, ‘Cut out for yourself two tablets of stone like the former ones, and come up to Me on the mountain, and make an ark of wood for yourself. I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered, and you shall put them in the ark.’ So I made an ark of acacia wood and cut out two tablets of stone like the former ones, and went up on the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. He wrote on the tablets, like the former writing, the Ten [a]Commandments which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly; and the Lord gave them to me. Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark which I had made; and there they are, as the Lord commanded me.”

(Now the sons of Israel set out from [b]Beeroth Bene-jaakan to Moserah. There Aaron died and there he was buried and Eleazar his son ministered as priest in his place. From there they set out to Gudgodah, and from Gudgodah to Jotbathah, a land of brooks of water. At that time the Lord set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to stand before the Lord to serve Him and to bless in His name until this day. Therefore, Levi does not have a portion or inheritance with his brothers; the Lord is his inheritance, just as the Lord your God spoke to him.)

10 “I, moreover, stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights like the first time, and the Lord listened to me that time also; the Lord was not willing to destroy you.11 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, proceed on your journey ahead of the people, that they may go in and possess the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.’

12 “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to [c]fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the [d]highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. 15 Yet on your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He chose their [e]descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day. 16 So circumcise [f]your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. 17 For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.18 He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. 19 So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. 20 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. 21 He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

A recurring theme of late has been finding the root of what it means to serve God? Here we see a slightly different iteration, as Moses asks, “what does the Lord your God require from you…”

The answer, is to love Him, honor (fear) Him, and follow His commands. Which can be summed up a bit later, as “show your love for the alient…” For none of us is above our fellow man, we are all sinners, in need of a savior.

God provided what we need, and asks that we love Him, and love our fellow man. It is interesting here that the emphasis is on the “alien”, yet in Jesus day, they despised the Samaritans for just that, being alien/foreign. So it is no wonder that Jesus gives the story of the “Good Samaritan” to illustrate what it is to “love your neighbor”.

It isn’t to just love those who are like-minded, no that would be easy. God asks for more, and calls us to love our enemy, love the alien, and those who are not easy to love. But also them (the easy ones) too!

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Deuteronomy 9:6-29

“Know, then, it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a [d]stubborn people. Remember, do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day that you left the land of Egypt until you arrived at this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. Even at Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that He would have destroyed you. When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 The Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written by the finger of God; and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken with you at the mountain from the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. 11 It came about at the end of forty days and nights that the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Arise, go down from here quickly, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt have acted corruptly. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made a molten image for themselves.’ 13 The Lord spoke further to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, it is a [e]stubborn people. 14 Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’

15 “So I turned and came down from the mountain while the mountain was burning with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 And I saw that you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God. You had made for yourselves a molten calf; you had turned aside quickly from the way which the Lord had commanded you. 17 I took hold of the two tablets and threw them from my hands and smashed them before your eyes. 18 I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you had committed in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke Him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the Lord was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the Lord listened to me that time also. 20 The Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time. 21 I took your [f]sinful thing, the calf which you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small until it was as fine as dust; and I threw its dust into the brook that came down from the mountain.

22 “Again at Taberah and at Massah and at Kibroth-hattaavah you provoked the Lord to wrath. 23 When the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, ‘Go up and possess the land which I have given you,’ then you rebelled against the [g]command of the Lord your God; you neither believed Him nor listened to His voice. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord from the day I knew you.

25 “So I fell down before the Lord the forty days and nights, which I [h]did because the Lord had said He would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord God, do not destroy Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness, whom You have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.27 Remember Your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not look at the stubbornness of this people or at their wickedness or their sin. 28 Otherwise the land from which You brought us may say, “Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which He had [i]promised them and because He hated them He has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.” 29 Yet they are Your people, even Your inheritance, whom You have brought out by Your great power and Your outstretched arm.’

There is an interesting contrast that I don’t think I have ever noticed in this passage before. In the beginning, God says to Moses, “for your people…have acted corruptly.”

It’s almost as if God was testing Moses, as they didn’t belong to Moses, and he had no claim over them. God had chosen these people, and commanded Moses to lead them, not the other way around. But when one is placed in leadership, you tend to get this sense of ownership, which is healthy in some ways. You have to guard your heart though, as one needs to remember that everything belongs to God, so even when we might think we own a house, or a boat, or a car… it all comes from and belongs to God.

We are stewards, and this was something Moses had to remember. The Israelites were not his people, not in the possessive sense, only in the familial sense. We see that he does indeed remember this critical fact, and shortly thereafter, he flips the sentence back on God, and says “do not destroy Your people, whom You have redeemed through Your greatness…”

I doubt that God ever had any intention of destroying the Israelites, but He needed to test Moses to see if he could handle the leadership role. No doubt because God knew how they would try Moses’ patience in the years to come.

Moses is not the only one who God tested, we see it all throughout the Bible (Job and Peter are notable examples), and do not think you will escape trials and tests in whatever role God has placed you. If you follow Him, there will be trials, there will be tests, for God is refining you as one would refine silver or gold… through intense heat and adversity.

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Deuteronomy 9:1-5

Israel Provoked God

“Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities [a]fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ Know therefore today that it is the Lord your God who is crossing over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and He will subdue them before you, so that you may drive them out and destroy them quickly, just as the Lord has spoken to you.

“Do not say in your heart when the Lord your God has driven them out before [b]you, ‘Because of my righteousness the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going to possess their land, but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the [c]oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Here we see confirmation that God was clearing the promised land of all these nations because of their wickedness, but we see something else also. It was not because of the righteousness of the Israelites in comparison that God was giving them this land.

For as we have seen, they were a stubborn and rebellious people, and will continue to be that way. No, God was giving them the land because He had made a promise to Abraham.

Therein is the lesson, God always keeps his promises, even when we are fickle, or disobedient. He is still faithful, in all things, to do what He has promised.

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Deuteronomy 8

God’s Gracious Dealings

“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lordswore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the Lordyour God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you [a]understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to [b]fear Him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.

11 [c]Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12 otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14 then your heart will become [d]proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of [e]slavery. 15 He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16 In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you [f]in the end.17 Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18 But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lordmakes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God.

Indeed, that is the time to be careful. It’s only natural to cry out to God when we are hurting, distressed, or feeling lost. But when things are going well, and life is cruising along nicely, we need to remember that all this is from God. Otherwise, He will send a reminder to help us along, and turn our hearts back to Him.

I don’t know if I can say it much better than Moses did, but be careful! Do not become proud, don’t think you are self-sufficient, for your self is deceitful, and will always strive for things that put your soul in jeopardy. Let your soul rest in Him, in good times or bad, and remember that God is your provider, He is your creator, and He is your father.

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Deuteronomy 7:16-26

16 You shall consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you; your eye shall not pity them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

17 “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them; you shall well remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt: 19 the great trials which your eyes saw and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out. So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet against them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you perish. 21 You shall not dread [v]them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to put an end to them quickly, for the [w]wild beasts would grow too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them before you, and will [x]throw them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will deliver their kings into your hand so that you will make their name perish from under heaven; no man will be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them. 25 The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.

The other theme that runs through this passage is that of reliance on God. Earlier in the chapter, God flat out tells them that the seven nations are greater and more numerous than the Israelites.

He encourages them to not be afraid, by reminding them of the great miracles God did to bring them out of Egypt. Moses reminds them that God is among them, and is a “great and awesome God”. This comes back to something their parents had forgotten. It was never about their own strength to take the promised land. It was about trusting that the God who delivered them from Egypt, and gave them food and water in the wilderness, could deliver this land into their hands.

Much of serving God is about trust. Trusting that His way is right, trusting that He knows what is best for us, trusting that He will take care of us. It isn’t easy, but it sure is simple. “Trust in the Lord will all your heart…”