“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.” – Deuteronomy 7:1-2

The tribe of Israel is poised to enter the Promised Land. Their 40-year wanderings are drawing to a close. A new generation has arisen to replace the older, disobedient one. The Lord God exhorts His people to now abide by His commands. For the time has come for them to step out in faith and follow Him wholeheartedly.

This loving God wants only the best for His chosen ones. He issues a strict command to defeat the nations that inhabit the land before them. The Israelites are to destroy all traces of them. For these enemy nations have a history of idolatry and all kinds of wickedness.

The Lord knows these evil nations will corrupt His people and turn their devotion away from Him. The Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, often referred to as the “ites”, will always be a threat and a temptation.

“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.” – Deuteronomy 7:5-6

God cannot allow evil to continue to run rampant. He will see justice done. The Israelites are His chosen people, His treasured possession, whom He is protecting from idolatry and immorality. He calls His people to be His agents of judgment. God warns the tribe of Israel to completely destroy these seven enemy nations.

This appears to be a harsh punishment that seemingly goes against the mercy of God. Yet mercy is always balanced by justice in God’s eyes. This is a divine command by a wise God… and is not meant to be taken as a precedent for how His chosen ones are to treat any foreign nation. These nations are enemies of God. The Lord knows they will never repent or change.

“You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?’…Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.” – Deuteronomy 7:17, 21-22

The Lord God’s plan is to have the Israelites separated unto Himself. He promises to go before them… to fight for the ones He loves. If they follow His commands, this awesome God promises to give His chosen ones dominance over the enemy nations… to keep His people and their relationship with Him pure and undefiled. For through their line, the prophesied Messiah is to come.

Yet the Israelites fail their God. They do not completely rid the land of the enemy. The “ites” become a perpetual source of trouble. Not only do God’s people become ensnared by idolatry and immorality, they also face ongoing battles and wars with these ruthless nations. The peace that God so desired for His treasured ones is compromised by their disobedience and rebellion.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.” – Deuteronomy 7:9

As believers, we live in the “Promised Land” of God’s favor and blessing. Yet we must be aware of the battle that rages in the world against God and His people. Satan and his forces are the “ites” we face along our Christian walk. They are our spiritual foes… enemies of God, enemies of truth, enemies of righteousness… who ruthlessly seek to lead the world astray (Revelation 12:9).

Jesus came as our Redeemer, to save mankind from the ravages of sin and evil. Through Him, all believers are children of God, His chosen, treasured ones. As we live a Spirit-led life, walking in God’s will, obeying His commands, He promises us His peace and His victory over our enemies.

We dare not be like the tribe of Israel who allowed the “ites” to inhabit their land. They tolerated this enemy presence to their own detriment and destruction. They were deceived and enticed to serve gods other than their own Yahweh God who had chosen them above all the nations.

“As believers in Christ, we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory. In Christ’s power, we are invincible.” – Chip Ingram

»   How are we to defeat the “ites” in our lives?

Prayer is the spiritual weapon to use against the enemy. Pray for strength to resist the enemy’s attempts to deceive, tempt and ensnare (James 4:7). Pray for fortitude to keep from believing his lies, yielding to temptation or becoming captivated by idols (John 8:44).

Pray for resolve to withstand all evil influences, wrong mindsets and ungodly desires (Ephesians 6:11). Pray for determination to block the enemy from gaining a foothold in your life (Ephesians 4:27). Pray for boldness to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of Christ’s light (Romans 13:12). Pray to be empowered by Jesus’ supernatural, overcoming power (Acts 1:8).

Jesus, our mighty Savior, has triumphed over all evil. In Him, we are victorious. Yet it is through His power not our own. Let us abide in Him, living separated unto Him… pure, holy, undefiled by evil. Let us live out His righteousness. Let us conquer the “ites” in our lives through Christ and prevail in His victory.