Russell and Duenes

The Wickedness of These Nations

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R-20101015-0065.jpg“…but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you…but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord your God is driving them out before you, in order to confirm the oath which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  ~ Deut. 9:4-5

“…for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”  ~ Gen. 15:16

We can say several things in reflecting on these texts. First, the concept of a “wicked nation” should not be a foreign one to us. Clearly God saw the nations of Canaan, and not just the individuals, as wicked. We should not think it strange to believe that there are also wicked nations on the earth today. Second, we can say that the wickedness of these nations does not escape God’s notice. God is indeed “slow to anger,” but He is angry about wickedness, and does not tolerate it endlessly. It reaches a point where it is “complete” or “full.” Clearly the wickedness of the Canaanites had reached that fullness by the time the Israelites arrived on their doorstep. Finally, when the wicked nation’s iniquity and rebellion against God reaches fullness, as God sees things, then God acts against it. In the Israelites’ case, God drove out the wicked nations from the lands where they had been living, and told Israel to put them to the sword to the utmost.

Lest we think that somehow Israel was exempt from this “fullness” of wickedness, history tells another story. Just read Deuteronomy 28, and you’ll know what God would do to His people when and if their sinfulness reached the tipping point. Indeed, God says: “Just as the Lord has found great pleasure in causing you to prosper and multiply, the Lord will find pleasure in destroying you” (Deut. 28:63). And destroy them He did, at the hands of the Babylonians, though not completely.

We have an aversion to talking about God’s judgment in modern times, supposing somehow that to speak of it as a practical reality is  largely a presumption. Yet the wicked Canaanites were driven out and destroyed for the very reason that they were wicked. Their time came, and it was not something that snuck up on God.

-D

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Written by Michael Duenes

October 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Posted in Deuteronomy, Duenes

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