13 September 2007Deuteronomy 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.
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?