Deuteronomy 7:1-26 (Part 1) – No Matter How You Slice it, Sin is Sin

Posted: January 9, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 7:1-26 (Part 1 of 3)

The Privilege of Holiness

 

Sometimes, we wonder why we are in the mess that we are in. Why are we oppressed and pressed down on all sides? I don’t understand why this is happening to me? When we think on it enough and have the humility to see our situations for what they are, we often find that we are responsible for the state we find ourselves in. When we dabble in sin, there are consequences.

 

When I look back on the history of my life, the consequences of decisions that I have made were judgments for the sins I committed. My second marriage was a series of consequences for the sins that I committed at the end of my first marriage. Sure, I felt justified. During my first marriage, I had to deal with the daily consequences of the drug addiction that my first wife suffered through. I was constantly cleaning up her metaphorical and literal messes. I could never rest at work because I was always wondering what I would find when I got home. There was her own affair that I said I forgave and reconciled our marriage. There was her penchant for spending money that we did not have. There was her you are for me or against me mentality. There was plenty of ammunition for me to justify the actions that I took.

 

However, the Bible does not say that adultery is OK when this, and this and this happen. It simply says that you shall not commit adultery. Although my second wife was sane and normal compared to my first wife, and we thought we truly loved each other for time (and maybe we truly did), our marriage began in sin. Adultery is a sin no matter our reasons for it and there are consequences to sin. We may call it the shit that we have to deal with in divorce because of a bitter ex-wife. We may call her crazy and vindictive and maybe all that was certainly true. Maybe, we live with her bitter voice mail messages. Maybe, we live with her constant harassment and being struck by her in front of the children. Maybe, we live with her keeping the children from you when she realized that was not going to tuck tail and run home under her barrages of harassment and vindictive behavior. Maybe, we live with her claiming that I molested my oldest daughter when I took her to court for violating my court ordered right to see my children every other weekend. Maybe, we live with her claiming to everyone that would hear that I was a wife-beater when DSS got involved in our case when they saw how she was letting her parental skills slide because of her all consuming desire to destroy me. Maybe, we live with and deal with the fact that DSS removes the children from her care and places them with my parents for two and half years and half years and you have drive 4 hours each way (Greenville, SC to Georgetown, SC) every weekend to see them.

 

Maybe, too, you seem to have happiness with your new and more sane wife, but you don’t see the coming events. Maybe, we live with the jealousies between her, her kids and me and my kids. Maybe, we live with that and try to manage it and walk the tight rope of keeping the wife happy and keeping your kids happy. Maybe, you find that job becoming more difficult when my kids are awarded to me as the final judgment of the court in our DSS case. Maybe, there was a since of victory and happiness from that but that was the beginning of the long road to the end of the second marriage. Maybe, you try to manage the poison that my ex-wife was spewing into my children that never gave my second wife a fair shot in being a step-parent to them. Maybe, the second wife was just mean to them in ways that she would never be to her own children. Maybe, I was too blind to see it. Maybe, it was out of a frying pan into a fire. Maybe, the second marriage was destined for failure because we didn’t know and understand the dynamics of a blended family. Maybe, that marriage become its own new living hell that was different from the living hell of the first marriage. Maybe, it ultimately was my desire to keep it the sinking ship afloat that led to stupid financial decisions that led my second wife to seek affections elsewhere. Maybe, we even survived that for a while. Maybe, it was me being less than a man when my daughter went off to college that I kept hidden all my financial support to my daughter from my wife that thought we should not be supporting her at all since my daughter was 18. Maybe, it was just all circumstances and things that I can blame on others that saw me have to start over AGAIN from scratch a second time when I was 42 years old. Maybe, some will call it hard life. Maybe, I will call it perseverance and keeping pushing through the hard times to get where I am today. Maybe, I will justify all of it as making poor choices in wives and maybe you will agree with me and it all make perfect sense to both of us.

 

The bottom line though for me is that it was all the long-hard road of the consequences of sin. Sure, there were good times in there and even some great times. It’s not like it was all bad and like I was walking through the mud the entire time. However, the trajectory of my life and the things that I had to deal with within that trajectory was the consequences of my sins and the consequences of the sins of others. When I look back in all humility, a lot of the story of my life was the consequences and results of my sins. I can justify my sins by saying that it was in reaction to the sins of others and I can blame others for what has happened to me in my life. But, when I am honest and real, I reaped what I sowed. The relationship with my second wife that began during my first marriage I can justify as being OK because (1) my first wife had an affair of her own and (2) she deserved it for what she put me through in my marriage to her and (3) she was bat-crap crazy. I can justify it all I want to and you might even say “good for you!”. However, the second marriage began in sin and there were consequences to that. Sin begets sin. Not only did I commit sin to begin the relationship, I was so enthralled by my second wife that I made her my god and all kinds of stupid, sinful decisions resulted from that. When I sit back and think about all that history, it makes me sad that I made the choices that I made. Maybe, life would have turned out different and better if I had made different choices. Maybe the results of those choices would have led to less heartache.

 

The results of sin and how one sinful choice leads to another and how sin sends your life into a spiral of events that cannot be changed back is what I thought of when I read through today’s passage for the first time and thought about how God was using Israel to execute His judgment on people of Canaan for their sinful ways. Let’s read Deuteronomy 7:1-26 today with those thoughts in mind:

 

7 When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— 2 and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.[a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles[b] and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

 

7 The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But

 

those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;

    he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

 

11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.

 

12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young. 15 The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

 

17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” 18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22 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. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. 25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

 

God told the Israelites to completely destroy their enemies. Completely. And show them no mercy. Although God is loving and merciful, He is also just. These enemy nations were evil and idoloatrous and had despicable practices such as child sacrifices to their gods. God was using Israel to judge these nations just as He will judge all nations when Jesus returns to end all things. God executed judgment upon these nations too to keep Israel from being ruined by the evil practices and idolatry of the nations of Canaan. To think that God is too nice to judge us for our sins is simply foolish.

 

God is a God of justice just as much as He is a God of love and a God of mercy. When we take away God’s justice, we take away His authority. When we take away God’s justice, we make His Word meaningless. When we take away God’s justice, we take away the need for Jesus Christ. Jesus just becomes a nice guy. Jesus becomes an option. Jesus is just one of the many nice guys we can self-actualize ourselves through.

 

But the truth is that God is indeed a God of justice. He hates sin. He cannot allow it to exist in His presence. Even if we have committed one sin we cannot be in His presence. He judges us for our sins. He allows and sends circumstances that exact His justice for our sins. We can, as I had done for many years, justify our sins as OK. We can even glorify them as being the new OK. We can say God knows me and this was OK with Him in the end. We can even blame others for our having committed sins. However, we must take responsibility for our sins and their consequences before the throne of God and realize that He is completely just and right to send us to hell for what we have done with our lives. It is only through His mercy as expressed through the person and work of Jesus Christ that we can be set free from our sentence. And it is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit after having accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior that we truly see that God would be completely just for condemning us to hell. The Holy Spirit takes our blinders off and sheds our justifying reasons away. Sin is sin and it separates us from God. It is only through the covering of Jesus Christ that our sin slate is wiped clean. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we see ourselves as we really are and we turn away from the sins that we used to embrace and we realize how it is only through Jesus Christ that we have escaped our true, honest, and just punishment for who we really are. Sinners before a just God.

 

Amen and Amen.

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