When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deut. 7:1-6)
The period addressed in the book of Judges is a period of time defined by lawlessness, rebellion and moral failure among the people of Israel.
The whole attitude of Israel during this time could be summed up in the words of Judges 17:6; 21:25, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.”
God had redeemed Israel from Egyptian bondage.
He had led them for 40 years through a wilderness.
He had brought them safely into the land of Canaan.
He had promised to defeat all their enemies, if they would only walk with Him in holiness.
God commanded them to enter Canaan and to conquer it.
They were to:
- Possess the land.
- Utterly destroy all the nations of Canaan.
- Make no peace treaties with them.
- Show them no mercy.
- Refuse to intermarry with them.
- Completely destroy every trace of their pagan religions.
The reason they were commanded to do this was because Israel was to be different from all the people around them (Deut 7:6).
They, among all the people of the earth, had been chosen by God.
God had saved them, blessed them and promised them victory, if they would walk with Him.
God demanded total separation among His people.
He knew that if Israel allowed themselves to be entangled with the Canaanites, they would become corrupt spiritually and be drawn away from God.
When that happened, God promised that He would visit them suddenly, in His wrath (Deut. 7:4).
We are to be in the world, but not of the world in our walk with the Lord.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)