13 September 2007

Deuteronomy 7:12-26

"If you say to yourself, 'These nations are more numerous than I; how can I dispossess them?' do not be afraid of them. Just remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm by which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples of whom you are afraid". (v.17-19)


The Deuteronomic preacher takes his hearers back in imagination to the eve of their entry into the Promised Land, after their escape from slavery in Egypt and their years of wandering in the desert. He instructs his people in the duties to which they are called. They are to destroy their idolatrous neighbours, to have no dealings of any kind such as commerce and matrimony, and they are to destroy their shrines and their contents. This commandment is fraught with moral difficulties for us today.

But it is through idolatry that Israel could destroy itself and thereby bring God's plan for the Israelites to nought. The Israelites, on entering the land of Canaan, the promised land, are to clear it of idolatrous articles. The people will recognise themselves as small and insignificant before the vast population and may be afraid but they are not to be so.

The preacher promises that God will do for them in Canaan what he did for them in Egypt, and more if necessary. We too need to stand strong in faith before the might of the present secular age.

To Ponder

Remember what God has done for you in the past and let it inform and strengthen you for today.

What do think some contemporary 'idols' might be? What must you stand up for or against today?

Bible notes author

Revd Eden Fletcher

The Revd Eden Fletcher is the Superintendent Minister for the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Brunswick Central) Circuit, having previously served as Chaplain to Kent College, Canterbury, a Methodist school and minister at Westminster Central Hall, London. Eden is committed to city centre ministry believing that the Church has a key role in promoting strong community in the heart of city and promoting Christian values in a commercial/retail context.