Continuing to deal with the responsibilities of the people as they entered the land, Moses insisted upon the absolute necessity for the maintenance of the attitude of separation to God. Stringent instructions were given in this .matter. They must not compromise with the people of the land. They must not many with them because such alliance would result in corruption of the chosen people and their straying after other gods. Moreover, they were to sweep out all the signs of false religion, altars and pillars and Asherim and graven images. Moses reminded them that their God was faithful both in mercy and in discipline, and urged them therefore to be faithful.
Still another peril threatened them. This peril would necessarily grow out of the difficulties of the work that lay before them. It was inevitable that they would become conscious of the number and strength of their foes. If once they permitted their minds to dwell on these things, they would repeat the folly of their fathers, who saw fenced cities and giants rather than God. Moses urged them, therefore, to remember the deliverances already wrought. The central word of this charge is, "for Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a great God and terrible." To be perpetually conscious of this would be to be delivered from the sense of fear in the presence of all opposition.
Moses ended with the solemn warning that in the burning of the images the clothing and drapery also must be destroyed. Everything devoted by God to destruction must be destroyed by the people whom He leads into victory and possession.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25