This post is part of the Lent Reading Series
1. Who is God?
This passage shows off the jealousy of God for His people. The passage admonishes several times that they are to utterly destroy the people in the Promised Land because He doesn’t want the Jews following other gods (v1-5). He calls the Jews “…His treasured possession,” (v6) and wants them holy for Himself. This comes out of God’s faithfulness to fulfill His covenant with Abraham and his sons (v8).
God’s faithfulness is talked about further in the chapter when it talks about God delivering the enemies into the Jews hands. The Jewish nation is small but God is saying that He’s going to use them to destroy the nations in the Promised Land (v17-24).
God’s passion for us to know Him is on display most in this chapter. He wants to bless us and enjoy the relationship He originally intended for Man and God to have. He wants to show that He is for the Jews by giving them the ability to take out the nations that would be able to destroy them.
2. What has God done?
God has let the Jews know that the way is clear for them to enter the Promised Land. And it’s not because of anything that the Jews did; it’s because God is in control and He is initiating the action. God has taken the steps to bless the Jews in countless ways, all they need to do is walk in it.
3. Who are we?
In this passage, I think we’re the people that God is talking to. He has a promised land setup of abundant life in Him, and all we have to do is walk in it. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our sin has already been defeated.
The nations that need defeating can be drawn as direct parallels to the sin in my own life. My pride, my addictions, my shame… These are all things that God has already defeated through the Cross but I am unwilling to walk in them. Sometimes I can remember that I am saved by grace and walk in that, other times I forget though. More often than not I forget.
It’s easy to just shove the Gospel aside and say “Now what?” but the Gospel is it. It’s the ONLY thing that really matters. We forget how much it cost God because of how lavishly grace has been poured out onto us. But that grace came at a terrible price.
My sins mock the death of Jesus. They show where my priorities in life truly lie.
But my sin shouldn’t drive me to despondency. My sin should help to point me back to Jesus. Having sin in my life is a constant, painful, reminder that I need Jesus and I can’t fix my relationship with Him under my own power.
Sin teaches me how much I need Jesus and reminds me that I have no choice but to rely on Him; just like the Jews that are being talked about in this passage.
4. What should we do?
We should respond by remembering what Jesus did for us and what it cost for Him to do it.