God’s Comfort in Fear
God is setting up the Israelites and giving them direction to destroy nations so they may live in the promise land. v2. reads …and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. It is interesting that God wanted the nations to be destroyed totally. God chose the Israelites to be his people and he never wanted them to forget what he saved them from. He saved them from the hands of pharaoh in Egypt totally. He had them live in the desert for 40 years and provided for them and tested them so they may totally depend on him and follow his law spoken through Moses. God called me out of darkness and the oppression of a sinful life to love him and follow him totally in all of His ways.
The verse continues to read…Make no treaty with them, and show no mercy. What if the Israelites had shown mercy and made a treaty with the nations they’d destroy? Their entire camp could be compromised. All it could take is 1 ‘enemy’ to have an escape plan with the intent to avenge, an enemy bent on success. Personally, my being could be compromised in ways only God knows. All it would take is not totally following God and not destroying old ways (bad seeds)- it only takes one.
It makes sense that during their time in the desert God tested, trained, warned, and rebuked them. God was trying to grow their faith and have them fear Him only. As God is preparing to bring the Israelites in the promise land he uses their time in the desert to show them their hearts. At this time in my life I feel like I’m in [a] desert again. I need to look at my heart God is exposing to me and acknowledge my fears and lack of trust and faith in Him. Now, and not after the fact is the time for me to fear God only and grow in faith. God provides. Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
In v3-4 God tells the Israelites not to intermarry with any of the nations men or women they are to destroy. This shows that God knows there will be the opportunity and temptation (read between the lines). Marriage is an intimate entity and sharing such closeness could have two sharing the same values. God doesn’t want the Israelites worshipping foreign gods of these nations. By telling the Israelites what not to do, he clearly knows before they do what they will be facing and how to handle it. He makes clear the sin of these nations.
v6 The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the people’s on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. I’ve read this scripture in the past and many like it as it went in one ear and out of the other. Despite their sin they were God’s possession; a people holy to God. God cares for, loves, protects, and blesses his possessions. As belonging to God, I am set apart and do not belong to myself. I died to myself when I declared Jesus as Lord of my life.
V17-18 reads…You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” But do not be afraid of them, remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. God is acknowledging their fears and reminding them of His great power and what He’s already done for them. He comforts them and tells them not to be afraid. People can tell others not to be afraid all the time and it’s easy to reply that it’s easier said than done.It’s easy to say that to another person who is not God and doesn’t offer the same comfort as God. But God tells them not to be afraid and he will take care of their fears for them. God is letting them know He is the greatest fear to have.
God knows my fears, my apprehension, my heart- the function, memory, power, fruit of his great works in my life which should impact my heart today to trust him and know he’s already comforted and taken care of me?
In v21 God again tells them do not be terrified. Fear can bring up many emotions, or stifle them, and handicap a person. But God just asks us for mustard seed faith & he can work amazing wonders.
v22. The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. God clearly shows that faith in his work and power is a process and He knows best what we can handle and what we need. God gives us the righteous path to take and clears it before we walk. He allows certain things to stay and test and grow our faith and to show us our hearts. He makes room to show/display His accessibility and Great power! And each time, fills the God sized whole meant to sustain, maintain us. “Little by little.”
By giving me what I don’t deserve little by little I should be better able to appreciate what God does in my life. Also, as God’s possession, he knows he made me and what I’m capable of. I am not meant to acquire or handle everything as once. When I’m feeling burdened and overwhelmed I can go to God but there’s something he needs me to focus on in the moment where he has me. I think multi-tasking in the spiritual realm is another way of saying distracted from the prize. God’s timing is perfect. Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens; Isaiah 20:31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will son on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and will not be faint; Ecclesiastes:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Again, God’s timing is perfect. Where I am IS where I need to be. The “little by little” where I’m at God is able and willing to work with. Referring back to the scripture in Deuteronomy 7 it reads, “…you will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once.“ God knows we can’t handle everything at once and we shouldn’t try, but he also will not allow us to try to do everything his process requires at once. Because God IS, He knows the perfect temperature sin needs to be planted. God makes himself fully and thoroughly available so this does not happen. (For emphasis, At this very moment in my life, God has something he needs me to focus on to do his will. I may have other plans in mind of what I want to be work-ing on but in the here and now, God wants to me to be focused on his will. In his timing I either do or I don’t work on whats present, it’s a choice. I need not to take my focus off His will to be working on multiple things not in God’s timing. What God has for me now, will be for me-both good and the bad).
I don’t, we don’t as ourselves have God’s strength or power to attack the enemy on our own or all at once (consider the many facets of our sinful nature; also, some things about us are meant to be-we were beautifully and wonderfully made and God uses the things we think need fixing for good). If I “continue” to try to be perfect and faithless towards God I will continue to be weak and exposed. Lack in areas that need my attention and instead of growing I create more problems (or the animals will multiply around you).
Just what/who are these wild animals? The areas I lose focus in that open me up to attack. Lose strength as they eat away at me. My fears especially will multiply because Lordship is suffering (Remember, love the Lord your God with all my heart, soul, and strength). If there are not already animals present, new animals will come to multiply. Packs or such could form.
A lot can happen but God continues to be clear. He will make the unnecessary confused in itself so that it doesn’t make sense or have any power to but be destroyed.
v24 No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. Burn images of their gods and don’t covet their silver, gold, etc., they will be ensnared by it
I personally think about those areas of my personality I haven’t let go because I don’t fully trust God. It’s not okay. He’s my power and refuge in battle. Not my powerless artillery. I need to die to self to live for God. If I can’t love others with whats inside me, I need to allow God to take his place to do the loving for me. To allow God means effort on my part.
Ensnared is defined as: to capture in, or involves as in, a snare. Snare is defined as a device, also consisting of a noose, for capturing small game. Served to trap unawares. A wire noose for removing tours or the like by the roots or at the base.
I don’t want to be considered small to the evils of this world. I need to be aware of that easily entangles. Being ensnared cuts me off from God in ways I shouldn’t be (sinful; all it takes is one thing little by little). Being ensnared can only set me apart for destruction.
v26. “Utterly abhor and detest it,” for it is set apart for destruction. Utterly means in an utter manner; completely and absolutely. Completely and absolutely hate what can take me away from God.