God removes any prideful feelings with this chapter. He tells the Israelites that He is not giving them the Land because of their righteousness, but because of the other nations' sinfulness. As they enter and dominate the Promised Land, they do so as God's instrument of retributive justice. This is why God commands them to go into the land and destroy all those who live in it. He wants justice for their wickedness. Did the Israelites fully obey God's commands about the land? We know they failed in many areas (see Judges), and some of those nations remained in the land and eventually brought the downfall of Israel. Instead of walking by faith and obeying God completely, they walked in fear which destroyed their ability to hear God's voice and obey. Those nations that stayed in the Promised Land never changed their religious beliefs, but they did share those beliefs with God's people. Suddenly, those that were called to serve justice for the Lord would now experience His justice through those they were supposed to destroy. Does God still punish wickedness? We know that He does, "but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." All of mankind, saved or lost, are wicked through and through. The only difference is that God does not see the sin of His children, because they have all been forgiven and forgotten through Jesus. When God looks at you, what does He see?

Help me, Lord, to hear Your commands and walk in complete obedience to them. Help me to celebrate Your Son and the forgiveness He freely gives to all who believe.