Deuteronomy 7-8:3

Sunday Evening Bible Study

July 26, 1998


The name Deuteronomy means "second law".

It is Moses’ final address to the people. It covers the last 1 ½ months of Moses’ life. He’s 120 years old. He can still see and hear very well.

He’s rehearsing the work of God in Israel’s past history, and giving them a review of God’s law before they cross into the Promised Land.

One of the major themes we’re going to see through the book is that of God’s love for His people.

Deuteronomy 7

:2 thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them

This sounds incredibly cruel, until you begin to understand who these people were. God was going to use the Israelites as a form of judgment on these people for their cruel practices.

Studies of their religion, literature, and archeological remains reveal that they were the most morally depraved culture on the earth at that time. (BKC)

:4 For they will turn away thy son from following me

God warns the Israelites not to marry any of the inhabitants of the land because they will turn their hearts away from God.


Unequally yoked.

In the New Testament we have the command:

2 Cor 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? {15} And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? {16} And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. {17} Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, {18} And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

A yoke was a block of wood that held two animals together so they could pull something together, like a plow. Typically a yoke contained two animals. A smart farmer would put two compatible animals under the same yoke. But if a stupid farmer put an ox on one side, and a donkey on the other, the results are simple, you’d go in circles.

To be unequally yoked with an unbeliever is to enter into some kind of binding relationship with the other person, whether in a business partnership or even in a marriage.

As a believer, you have an entire part of you, your spirit, that is completely opposite that of an unbeliever. You may have lots of other things in common, but the very foundation of your lives are completely opposite. They are under the reign of Satan, you are under the reign of God.

We see a picture of being unequally yoked with the relationship between Jehoshaphat and Ahab.

Ahab was the king of the northern kingdom of Israel, and was the wickedest king of them all. He was married to Jezebel, and together they led the northern kingdom into all kinds of idolatry.

Meanwhile in the south, the kingdom of Judah was ruled by good King Jehoshaphat. He was one of the most righteous kings the southern kingdom ever had.

(2 Chr 18:1 KJV) Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

He made a political alliance with Ahab, and ended up entering into a disastrous war with Ahab, where Ahab was killed, and Jehoshaphat barely escaped with his life.

His political alliance involved marrying their kids to each other, with Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, marrying Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram.

The disastrous effects of this marriage wouldn’t be seen until after Jehoshaphat was dead:

(2 Chr 21:1-6 KJV) Now Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. And Jehoram his son reigned in his stead. {2} And he had brethren the sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah: all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. {3} And their father gave them great gifts of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fenced cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram; because he was the firstborn. {4} Now when Jehoram was risen up to the kingdom of his father, he strengthened himself, and slew all his brethren with the sword, and divers also of the princes of Israel. {5} Jehoram was thirty and two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. {6} And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like as did the house of Ahab: for he had the daughter of Ahab to wife: and he wrought that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD.

It didn’t end there. Later, after Jehoram is dead, Athaliah decides to take things into her own hands, and has all her own children put to death so that she can assume the throne of Judah. She reigns for six years, until the high priest Jehoiada reveals one of the sons who had been hidden as a baby. She’s put to death, and the young boy is made king.

All this trouble came as a result of good king Jehoshaphat’s alliance with a wicked king.

:5 ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire

images … groves – better, "pillars … Asherim". The pillars were possibly male fertility symbols associated with the worship of Baal. The "groves", were graphic statues of the goddess Asherah.

God doesn’t want you to allow any kind of the world’s influence over you.

:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God


You are holy.

The concept of being "holy" is that of being "set apart".

It can carry the idea of being set apart from sin.

But it also carries the idea of being set apart for a special use.

In a way, my toothbrush is "holy", in that it is set apart for my own special use. Nobody else is supposed to use it.

Last time I taught on this, Alice went out and bought me a toothbrush with my name on it!

God calls us "holy" in that He has put His name on us, and we are for His use, and His only.

It’s kind of like those trucks that have the bumper sticker that says, "You toucha my truck, I breaka you face!"

God doesn’t want Satan to use you. God doesn’t want the world to use you. God doesn’t want another human being to use you. God doesn’t even want YOU to use you!

:7 because ye were more in number than any people

God didn’t choose Israel because the were the world’s biggest nation.

God doesn’t choose you because you’re the world’s best person.

That may be hard on some of your egos.

But it is also a relief to know that my relationship with Him has always depended on what He’s done for me, not on what I’ve done for Him.

:8 But because the LORD loved you

Here’s one of the reasons God has chosen you.


:8 and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers

God keeps His promises. He made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He’s going to keep them.

:15 And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.

It’s interesting to note how many of the Jewish laws have ended up being quite healthy:

God had taught them to be clean, not unclean.

God had taught them to quarantine those who were diseased.

God had taught them to wash.

God had taught them not to eat fat.

God had taught them to take a day off and rest.

God had taught them not to eat yucky things like vultures or bats.

Are God’s laws all that bad? No, they’re quite healthy for you!

:18 Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt;

If we will remember the things God has done for us in the past, it’s not so hard to trust Him for the future.

Even if you don’t think God has done anything for you in the past, look at what He did for Israel. It’s a place to start!

:20 Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them

hornet – Several possibilities: 1) Actual hornets, 2) the Egyptian army, or, 3) Ugly cars manufactured by the now defunct AMC company.

:21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

(1 John 4:4 KJV) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

:22 And the LORD thy God will put out those nations before thee by little and little: thou mayest not consume them at once, lest the beasts of the field increase upon thee.

Some types of victory don’t happen all at once.

For the Israelites, if the enemies were all gone at once, the wild beasts would have taken over before the Israelites moved in.

Don’t be discouraged because you might not be completely delivered yet, or because you seem to have so far to go. Be encouraged that God is taking you along, helping you to grow.

:26 Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house

I kind of wonder at times just what is coming into my house through the TV. Could this apply? I think so.

A man named Achan (Josh 7), did this when Israel conquered their first Canaanite city, Jericho. He took some of the forbidden things, and ended up causing great trouble not only to his own family, but to the whole nation. At their next battle, they were defeated because there was "sin in the camp".

Deuteronomy 8

:2 God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments

The forty years of wandering in the wilderness became a test then to see if these people would finally get serious about God.

If you have felt like your Christian life has been lacking direction and kind of floundering, could God be asking you, "Well, when are you going to get serious about Me?"

Often we can get to thinking that some of the "little things" we hide in our heart, our "secret sins" won’t really be that big of a deal.

But God sees the secret things, and He’s REALLY serious about us being serious about them.

I have known plenty of people who are always waiting for that "big break" in life, but it never happens because they don’t have their eyes in the right place.

Their eyes are always on either themselves or their circumstances. Rather than getting busy serving God, being busy with the small, little things, they’re always waiting for the big things.

I know, because I’ve been there. When I left the Baptist church to become involved at Calvary Chapel, I expected the world to jump in place for me. Instead I was asked to do humiliating things like teach a Sunday School class. I knew that Children’s Ministry would lead me nowhere. But I was wrong.

Don’t be afraid of taking the humble road. You’ll find that that’s the road where God is on.

:3 that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

God allowed them to have no food so they would learn to depend upon Him. They would learn to let God feed them His manna.

Jesus took this verse one step further.

(Mat 4:1-4 KJV) Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. {2} And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. {3} And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. {4} But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

In a way, I could see Jesus allowing Himself to feed Himself by turning the rocks into bread. He could have even turned them into manna, and kept it all Scriptural.

But Jesus knew that this verse in Deuteronomy went a step further.

God isn’t just interested in you learning to have Him meet your physical needs.

He wants you to learn to find your deepest satisfaction in His Word! Could you go a day without food, and find yourself totally satisfied with just listening to God’s Word?


D. L. Moody tells of the following incident in his little classic of 1895, Pleasure and Profit of Bible Study.

"A man stood up in one of our meetings and said he hoped for enough out of the series of meetings I was having to last him all of his life. I told him he might as well try to eat enough breakfast at one time to last his lifetime."

-- Charles R. Swindoll, The Christian Life, (Vision House, 1994), p. 93.


"A few years ago my wife and I spent a day with Billy and Ruth Graham at their mountaintop home in North Carolina. In the evening I could tell Billy was starting to get tired, so I told him we were going to head back to our hotel. But to my surprise he handed me his Bible and said, "Bill, before you go, feed me from God's word."

I thought to myself, this seventy-three-year-old man is obviously not a baby Christian. In addition, he has communicated the gospel message to more people than anyone else in history. Yet here he was saying to me, in effect, "I still need and love to be fed from God's Word."

-- Bill Hybels, Becoming A Contagious Christian, (Zondervan, 1994), p. 43.