UPDATE 2/10/19: An astute listener pointed out this week that we overlooked chapter 9 of Deuteronomy when we recorded this in 2015, something neither we (nor anyone else, apparently) had noticed before! We corrected that today. For our study on Deuteronomy 9, see GHF #222.
OUR STUDY this week is a reminder of the deadly seriousness of the spiritual war that’s been waged for millennia. Continuing his address to the people on Mount Nebo, Moses reminds the Israelites of the blessings and curses promised by Yahweh, and which they receive depends on how they behave once they enter Canaan and replace the people He will dispossess for them.
We also discuss Name theology again, as Deuteronomy 12 shows us that the Name of Yahweh is more than just a word or set of words by which He is known–it is both Yahweh and a representation of Him, depending on the context. For example:
[Y]ou are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. […]
Then to the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the Lord. (ESV, Deuteronomy 12:5, 11)
The Israelites are commanded by Yahweh to destroy the pillars, altars, carved images and Asherim of the Canaanite gods, thus destroying “their name” from the land. It’s a fascinating aspect to the spiritual war that adds depth to the conflict we don’t often hear about in church.