Thursday, March 1, 2012

Deuteronomy 7-8

Daily Reading
Daily Thought

The term 'Genocide' was coined in 1941 by combining the Greek word 'genos' (race) with the Latin word 'cide' (killing). Genocide, as defined by the United Nations, is the deliberate destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group.  

The Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction (Deuteronomy 7:1-2).

Question:  How is this not genocide?   Short Answer: According to that definition, it is.  Skipping this topic is tempting.  I could find something safe to write about in chapter 8.  But if I am to follow God, I must not fear standing beside him, even when it is not safe.  Especially when it is not safe.  So, here I am, discussing Deuteronomy 7:1-2.  I will not say, "I wish God hadn't, but since he did," as if to say, if I was God I wouldn't have.  I'm not nicer than God.  I'm not God.  That's the point.  It is the first lesson of humanity, the one we failed in the Garden of Eden.  Genesis 3:4-5, the serpent said, "When you eat, you will be like God."  We ate, but we're not.  

I am not eternal.  God is.  He measures people through eternity, I measure them in the moment.  I am not, by nature, holy and righteous.  God is.  When I live in the midst of sinners, I am not merely accommodating their sin, I am also enjoying their sin.  I'm one with them because I am one of them.  God is not.  He endures sin because of grace and because of the Gospel.  He has a plan.  It is the holiness and justice of God that moves him to exact the price on sin.  In extreme cases, it appears genocidal.   It is also his holiness and justice that moves God to pay the price for sin.  This is grace, it is the Gospel.  

There is more to write on this.  Much more.  And there will be opportunities as we continue through Deuteronomy and into Joshua.  But this is where we stand, alongside a holy, just, good, gracious, eternal, wonderful God.  Even when it is not safe.  Especially when it is not safe.

Daily Prayer

Eternal God, You are the One who created me in the first place.  It is not my place to hold You accountable, but to account myself before You.  Before Your goodness and holiness and righteousness.  I am happy to say, I stand tall before You, but not because of anything I have accomplished.  I stand tall because I want You to see the work of Your Son in my life.  It is His righteousness I display, not my own, and I stand tall to let it shine.

God, may I stand before this world, so that all may see the grace and goodness of Your salvation.  I am not ashamed of Your gospel, because it is the power of salvation, saving me from my world of sin.  I now hunger and thirst for righteousness, to live in Your presence forever.


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