A few years ago, I did a pretty in-depth study on the “-ites” in the Promised Land. It was so fascinating to learn who they were and what they symbolized. But as fascinating as it was, I didn’t see why it really mattered. I was just doing research for a paper I had to write for school.
Well, this morning I was reading in Deuteronomy 7 and I learned something that was so profound for me, and I finally made the connection between what I learned back then and what it means for me now.
See, there are certain giants that we must all conquer. Check it out…
VS 1. When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess (yep, you read that right…when HE takes you into the land…ya know, the land with all the giants…), and has cast out many nations before you, (enter Giants), the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mighter than you. (So let’s just get this straight right now… God is taking you into a land that is not only filled with all of these -ites, but He straight up tells you, ‘dude, these nations are greater and mightier than you.’ But it’s ok, it gets better, I promise…keep reading…)
VS 2. and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you (yep, when HE delivers THEM over TO YOU…NOT when He delivers you over to them…He’s not throwing you to the sharks, my friend…), YOU SHALL CONQUER THEM AND UTTERLY DESTROY THEM!!! You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.
VS 3-4. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. (He’s saying, ‘Hey, you don’t wanna hang around these guys. Stay away. Don’t get caught up with them. They’re bad news…and here’s what will happen if you do hang around them…)
VS 5. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire. (Check it out, He even tells us HOW to deal with them…)
Okay, so at this point I’m kinda thinkin’, dude, chill. They’re the enemy…why would I make a covenant with them or show them mercy or make marriages with them? Why wouldn’t I destroy them?
But then I decided I’d better find out who they are…
So here’s a very brief overview of who they are. If you want more info…well, do some research for yourself. I’ll give you the meaning of the names and what they symbolize:
- Hittites – sons of terror – fear, torment, phobias, terror, depression, deceit
- Girgashites – clay dwellers – focus on earthliness, unbelief in what is not seen, easily gives up, lack of perseverance
- Amorites – mountain people – obsession with fame and glory, domineering, pride
- Canaanites – lowlands people – addictions, perversion, exaggerated people-pleasing, greed
- Perizzites – belonging to a village – limited vision, laziness, low self-esteem, unwalled, unprotected
- Hivites – villagers (similar to Perizzites) – vision is limited to enjoying an earthly inheritance, hedonism, materialism, deception
- Jebusites – threshers – to pollute or defile, suppression of spiritual authority in fellow believers, legalism, presence of Satan
So…let’s go back for a minute and see exactly what this means…
VS 1-2. When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, (the -ites) Fear, Unbelief, Pride, Greed, Limited Vision, Deception, and the Presence of Satan, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them.
Have you made a covenant with fear? When fear comes against you, do you give in to it? What about unbelief? Do you give up? When pride pushes its way into your life, do you let it stay there? What about addictions? Low self-esteem? People-pleasing? Greed? Laziness? Have you lost your vision?
Do you see any of these -ites in your Promised Land? In your life? Have you made a covenant with them? Have you shown mercy to them? If you are not actively fighting them off, you’d better believe you’ve shown mercy to them. Are you compromising your Promised Land, your freedom, by letting the -ites stay there?
VS 3-4. Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
VS 5. But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.
But let’s not stop there…
VS 6-8. For (in this case, ‘for’ means because…) you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people (meaning, God doesn’t love you or choose you because you are somehow the most awesome, amazing, incredible, or powerful person on the planet…), for you were the least of all peoples (reiterating the fact that it’s not because you’re the most awesome, amazing, incredible, or powerful person on the planet…); but because the Lord loves you (YEP! He loves you because He loves you.), and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
VS 9-11. Therefore (And just for future reference, any time the Bible says ‘therefore’, it’s a pretty good indication that you should probably see what led to the ‘therefore’…) know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments (also, any time things are repeated, it’s a pretty good indication that it’s probably important…like how this verse says He is God 3 times in a row…maybe it’s just me, but I think God wanted to make sure that He got that point through my stubborn head…); and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face (see, more repetition…obviously this is another important point…). Therefore you shall keep the commandment, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them.
So first we see that God is taking us into our Promised Land, and that it is filled with nations that are greater and mightier than we are. But then He tells us that He will deliver them over to us, and that we are to conquer them, and not to show them any mercy. He shows us what will happen if we don’t obey. He even tells us how to deal with them. He tells us why we are to deal with them and not show them mercy. He reminds us that He is good and faithful, but also just. He tells us that if we do not obey, there will be consequences. It’s pretty straightforward, I’d say.
I know I have -ites in my land that I need to conquer. And friend, there are -ites in your Promised Land, too, and YOU must conquer them! Remember that greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. God is bigger than your giants, but it’s your job to slay them. Go conquer your -ites!