Sunday, October 26, 2014

Deuteronomy 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Deuteronomy 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Though God created a balanced and healthy way for people to live, not every nation followed God’s plan.  Many nations directly lived in hostility and opposition toward God and His people.
  • In order to protect God’s people, He allowed Israel to invade and cleanse enemy territories in order to restore Godly order (verses 1-9).
  • During the invasion of Canaan, the Israelites were responsible for killing Canaanites and getting rid of anything connected to Canaanite idolatry. This is obviously disturbing, but we need to understand that the Canaanites and their evil practices were a poison to humanity. Unfortunately severe action was required to remove this poison to protect other nations both physically and spiritually (verses 10-20).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • We may not engage in military conflict, but all of us face opposition in life.  In verses 3-4, God builds up the confidence of His people by reminding them that he was always with them and has always proven Himself faithful to their provision.  We too can have full confidence in God's power.
  • Though the Israelites understood the necessity to destroy the wicked nations, they did not fully commit to God’s instructions.  As a result, Israel was constantly oppressed by them and experienced even greater bloodshed and destruction than if they had followed God’s instructions from the beginning.  Their history demonstrates the necessity of carefully heeding the wisdom of God (see Titus 2:11-14).
  • Though Israel was to engage in battle and destruction against the wicked nations, they were still to be mindful of the God-given resources in the land.  Taking care of the natural resources was also very important.  God designed mankind to be responsible with the earth (see Genesis 2:15).

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Where in your life do you need to trust and depend on God’s power more?
  • In what areas of your life are you allowing sin to have a foothold?  How can you surrender them to God this week?
  • How are you responsibly handling the resources God places in your life?