Summary: How to overcome in the face of tremendous intimidation and fear
Destroying the Seven Nations
TEXT: Deuteronomy 7:1-6 New Living Translation, "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are greater and more numerous than you. 2 When the Lord your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy. 3 You must not intermarry with them. Do not let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters, 4 for they will lead your children away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and he will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you must do. You must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars. Cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols. 6 For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.”
INTRO: It is obvious that we, all of us, are entering a new season. And, transition & change is not always easy for everyone; but it’s necessary if God’s plan for the new season is to become a reality.
In Joshua 3:9-17 there is a about the story of Joshua leading the Nation of Israel across the Jordan River in order to possess the Promised Land. As that passage in the Book of Joshua starts out, the story begins with this statement. “So Joshua told the Israelites, "Come and listen to what the Lord your God says. 10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River!”
Interesting isn’t it? The same seven nations are listed here in Joshua as are listed in Deuteronomy.
In order to possess the promise, these seven nations must be utterly destroyed. If not, they will cause you to merge with and intermarry with them, compromising who you are and cause you to backslide and turn away from the Lord.
As I studied these seven nations, I found some amazing parallels, some similarities between what Israel had to deal back in the day, and what we must overcome to inherit and occupy the things which God has promised us today.
The first thing I want to note is that the Bible specifically identified each nation by name and then said, “These nations are greater and more numerous than you.” This tells me that within my own ability, I am powerless to defeat these stronghold nations by myself or even with the help of any earthly army I can mobilize.
The Bible says, in 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”
So, the devil is like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. What is the purpose of a Lion’s Roar? Incredibly, the roar of a lion can be heard by the human ear for up to five miles if conditions are right. And, one of the purposes of his roar is to establish territory. He wants to be king of all the territory in which he roams. It’s the same for the devil, he wants to establish rulership of your territory. Yet the word says to stand firm against him and be strong in your faith.
You know, that's an interesting statement about faith, we can be strong in it. We have a choice about our faith and how strong or how weak we stand with it.
Now let’s look at each of the seven nations, what they are, what their names mean and so forth.
1. The Hittites
The name Hittite means “An annoyance, those who are broken, those who fear.”
The Hittites were a well developed culture with strong political structure and a thirst for war. They used shock and awe tactics to drive fear into the hearts of their enemies and would often employ tactics that would crush their enemy’s governments, military, cultural, and economic structures.
Here is the scriptural promise of victory to overcome “Those who are broken and fear.”
2 Tim 1:5-7 “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.