“Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them.” – Deuteronomy 7:9-10a
God had marked the conquest of Canaan on His calendar long before Israel crossed the Jordan. He told Abraham, Your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs . . . And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the sin of the Amorites is not yet complete.(Genesis 15:13,14)
That’s what the commander of the army of the LORD was saying: I’m not here for Israel’s benefit, in the first place, but to carry out God’s righteous judgment because the sin of the Amorites is complete. And this is the gospel for you: in His sovereign grace and His divine wisdom, God has decided to glorify Himself by saving you, even while He judges Canaan.
There’s a warning there for Israel, and for us. Moses said to Israel in Deuteronomy 7:
The LORD your God has chosen you . . . because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that He swore to your fathers. . . . Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, and repays to their face those who hate Him, by destroying them. . . . You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.
Knowing that we are God’s people by sovereign grace alone should make us humble, thankful, and obedient.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that God will never allow you to forget His mercy, or to become proud or thankless, but that you will always walk with Him and with your neighbor in genuine humility.