Deuteronomy 7:16 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.
This is the kind of verse in the Old Testament we like to skip over. The very idea of being told not to have pity on a whole group of people and destroy them all violates our sense of justice and even humanity. However, what we don’t know, or conveniently overlook, is the sort of people these individuals were. Their religious practices are only now being deduced by archaeologists, and it’s not a pretty picture at all. Infanticide was just the beginning. What should give us pause is the fact that there are people advocating for infanticide in the US right now. The parallels between the tribes and cultures the Israelites were told to destroy and sections of US culture today are many, and should be deeply disturbing. We create our own standards for everything, including justice, righteousness, and mercy. That’s what is called humanism, because humans make the rules, and it’s considered a good and admirable thing. Political correctness is just one expression of it, and it is an assault on the very idea of truth. We forget that our Creator is holy, and so make up all sorts of excuses for our lack of holiness. In reference to this verse, the Old Testament has an extensive record of what a snare the gods of these people really were to the children of Israel. Today, anyone who expresses opposition to things that are in clear violation of Biblical standards is labeled a “phobe” of one sort or another. What we should have is a healthy fear of Almighty God!
This verse makes me uncomfortable as well. I certainly don’t like the idea of genocide, which is what this seems to be talking about. I know that I am certainly not to take things into my own hands in terms of anyone’s destruction, but I also know that God’s Revelation to John talks a lot about destruction. I also remember how Jesus responded to sinners of various sorts, and model my responses after Him. I am to be gentle and loving, but at the same time not be seduced by humanism, taking man as the standard. I am to remember that God is love, but He is also absolutely holy, and understand the need for His grace and mercy. We have all earned destruction, and the fact that He has withheld it should be a source of deep gratitude.
Father, keep me from skipping over anything in Your Word, but rather give me insight and revelation so that I may understand it rightly. Help me remember that the very first part of the prayer Jesus taught us is that Your name would be acknowledged as holy, and then that Your dominion would come and Your will be done on this earth, even to the degree that it is in heaven. May I be Your agent to bring as many as will come into Your dominion before the otherwise inevitable destruction that their sins have earned, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!