Contact Us

  • Phone: (509) 747-3007
  • Email:
  • Mosaic Address:
    606 West 3rd Ave., Spokane, WA 99201

Service Times

  • Sunday:  8:30 am, 10 am, 11:30 am
  • Infant through 5th grade Sunday School classes available
  • FREE Parking!



Back To List

Jul 09, 2023

Blessings from Obedience

Passage: Deuteronomy 7:12-26

Preacher: Jess Achenbach

Series: Deuteronomy

Category: Old Testament, Theology

Keywords: rahab, obedience, santification, achen


I. Blessings received if obedient. (v12-15) II. Curses on those that oppose the obedient/Don’t fear them ALSO punishment vs. polishing (v16-24) III. Final warning (v25-26) a. Achen vs. Rahab b. Sanctification (growing in Faith -progress beyond milk) c. Self-examination (1 John)


Deuteronomy 7:12-26

12 “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples. There shall not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you.

16 And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

17 “If you say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them?’ 18 you shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. 21 You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God.

 22 The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24 And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them.

25 The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.

26 And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

Whenever we read a passage, we want to put it in context to the rest of the chapter, the part of the book it is in itself the book as a whole as well as is it an Old Testament book or New Testament book.  We consider who the author, as well as historical and geographic information.  Context is king as they say, so understanding what has happened and what we know about what will happen helps us to make sense of not just what is going on, but what the message is for us today.

John spoke on the first half of this chapter last week and that part of the chapter is where we hear Moses warning the people of Israel that they were not to mix with the different cultures and evil that permeated the people that were living in the promised land, but rather they were to fully destroy them without pity.  They were not to intermarry or show mercy.  They application was how we as Christ followers are to react to the evil that we see today, the dangers of being joined in covenant bonds with unbelievers.

I have broken this second half of the passage down into three sections.

  1. Blessings received if obedient. (v12-15)
  2. Curses on those that oppose the obedient/Don’t fear them ALSO punishment vs. polishing (v16-24)
  • Final warning (v25-26)
    1. Achen vs. Rahab
    2. Sanctification (growing in Faith -progress beyond milk)
    3. Self-examination (1 John)


The first part of the passage was mainly a warning on what to destroy and steer clear of, this second half is the promise of what blessings they were to receive if they were obedient to God’s commands.

I will start with the last verse from last week, verse 11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.  

Moses starts with the premise that if they do obey God, (He is a God of covenants who always keeps his promises) then God will love them.  That alone is incredible!  It says that He will love you, and bless you and multiply you, and then he describes the type of blessings that they will receive.  Everyone gets pregnant all the time, even the animals.  But not just the people and critters, but also the ground itself is blessed, the olive trees produce oil, as well as the fruit, and grains and wine.

You might remember a couple of months ago there was a conference here in Spokane that a bunch of us attended that was called Transformative Revival and was put on by the Sentinal .  They have studied revivals around the world for decades.  One of the interesting things about their findings was that when there was true revival it wasn’t always only hearts that were made new. Very often there was a physical blessing to the land.

SOME EXAMPLES: Northern Canada, Caribou herds returned, In Fiji, water that was undrinkable for decades cleared up.  In guatamala, gardens that began to produce massive vegetables and fruits. Some of these are natural and some are supernatureal.

Because these promises hinge on obedience, it comes as a two-fold blessing, number one, there are some natural consequences when we obey.  Sexual purity instead of promiscuity leads to a healthier physical body resulting in a higher chance of pregnancy and healthy children.  I remember John in a message years ago talking about what is called “Gospel Lift”.  When the good news is introduced to a new area, missionaries didn’t just bring the saving knowledge of Christ with them, but they also build schools and hospitals, community was formed, and everyone’s quality of life increased because of the blessing that accompanied the Gospel.

However, there is more to this promise that just natural consequences.  God is adding to that with blessing, a supernatural one, His words here are that he will bless you and multiply you, vs 14 says you will be blessed above all nations.

Blessings can be seen in two ways. The first as we just saw is an “adding to” type of blessing, but there is a “keeping from” kind as well.

The main arterial just down from my street is a weird 4 way stop, but it has very poor visibility. In May for some reason, I had three close calls there.  When you pull up to the stop line, you cannot see traffic coming from the left unless they stop at their stop line.  I had just come up to the line, stopped and was about to pull out and a truck pulling a boat blew through the intersection at 45-50 miles per hour.  I was so angry, but more than that it scared me.  After thinking about it, I praised God for protecting me.  He had kept me from disaster and that is kind of what he is saying here, not only will he add blessing of many kinds of fruitfulness, but he will also keep disease away, a blessing of protection. 

He references the plagues that were brought against Egypt when they were trying to leave, and we are reminded again that these were caused by disobedience.  Pharoah refused to let the people of Israel go and so brought down disease upon himself and his people.

At the end of verse 15 it begins to move from the blessings that will be given to them, and he changes it, that it will be a curse on those that oppose them, and he tacks on another little warning, reminding them saying, these people that are so evil, don’t be snared by them and their evil ways, look they are being cursed with disease like the Pharoah was, don’t pity them, instead, obey God and don’t worship their idols.  

The second section in this passage is verses 17-24 and here Moses lines out what will happen to the evil people that are currently residing there in the land.  He doesn’t deny that these groups are mighty and in fact in the previous chapters he has mentioned how huge and mighty they are.  He again points to what happened with the Egyptians went against the Lord and how that turned out for them.  The main point that he makes here is to trust God, and not to fear.  In verse 20 he says that God will drive them out and then send in hornets to drive out the last of them. 

I tried to see if that meant something, because I don’t remember God using hornets to drive out the bad tribes.  There were lots of theories, like for example there was a group of warriors in Egypt that used the hornet as an emblem on their shields, and perhaps they were hired to help defeat the Canaanites.  However, the prevailing thought was not that it was any specific thing, but that some agency of God would be used, whether it was the angel of death or even in fact actual hornets.

Moses continues to warn the people over and over to obey God’s commandments. He had been doing that for the last 80 years and watched the cycles of obedience and defiance, so surly he had to have known that they would do the same thing in the promised land, and because we can see that Israel is the picture of a Christ follower, we can see the connection or comparison to our lives.  We follow Christ and are obedient, there is blessing.  When we fall into sin, we experience the consequences of that and not only do NOT receive the blessing, but God corrects us with discipline.

The one example that came to mind was that of King Hezekiah. His father Ahaz was extremely evil, and so God used the Assyrians as His correction rod.

The Assyrians were in the process of taking over the known world with an army of 200,000.  Their leader Sennacherib was ruthless, known for impaling his captives, and skinning them alive.  He had already taken the cities of northern Israel and taken many of them as slaves.

II Kings 18:12 “because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.”

King Hezekiah paid a huge amount of tribute to this king, he even stripped all of the gold and silver from the temple to cover the tribute, but Sennacherib sent his army to lay siege to Jerusalem anyway.  Hezekiah went and talked to Isaiah the prophet and they went into the house of the Lord, putting on sack clothes and ashes.  Isaiah prophecies that they will not fall, but God will defeat this evil Assyrian king.

In II Kings 19:35 “And that night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.”

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,

And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;

And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,

When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.


Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,

That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,

That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.


For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;

And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,

And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!


And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,

But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;

And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,

And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.


And there lay the rider distorted and pale,

With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:

And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,

The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.


And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,

And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;

And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,

Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

In this case the “Hornet” was the angel of death that drove out the enemies of Israel as promised by Moses back in Deuteronomy 7.  While this was an example of enemies being driven out, it is a bit down the road from the entrance into the promised land.  I like it though because it really embodies the basis of what Moses is telling them.  The primary message is to be obedient, and trust in God who is FAR more powerful than these mere humans. 

DO NOT FEAR is the consistent theme here. The people that were inhabiting the land were very ferocious and large, they were giants, and they remembered the report that the 12 spies had brought back with them.

Some Application:

What giants do we face in our lives?  Each one of us has gone through hardship, it isn’t all the same, you might be in the middle of the worst struggle you have ever gone through in your life right now.  God is telling us not to fear, He is in control. 

I want to tack on a bit of a warning here though, God isn’t some magic wand that can control at will, we see Job was one of God’s most obedient servants, and yet he was chosen for suffering.  Be careful that when we are going through hardship, whether caused by our own poor choices and disobedience, or perhaps just natural causes, God is in control, this is not a mystery to Him.  As a believer our response should be the same, to turn towards Christ in humility and grow in our relationship with Him.  If we have been living in perpetual sin, then it is a chance to become right again with Christ, and if it is a polishing kind of opportunity rather than a punishment kind, then we also have the chance to grow.

Candice and I have been going through a season of hardship, and it is so difficult to remind myself that I am not the one that is in charge, that sometimes I need to step back and evaluate what is happening and instead of asking why necessarily, ask Lord, help me not to fear, please give me the strength to stand, and make right decisions in the midst of the chaos.

The suffering might not end overnight, we see in verse 22- “The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you.” I was talking to pastor Bob about this, and he mentioned the same thing was true in the recovery world.  People get saved, they want to become clean, and they make these huge promises and goals that are almost unachievable and when they fail it is a devastating setback. God had a process, and it was to clear out the evil strategically and in His time. The Israelites job was to be obedient and ready.

This is such a neat picture of sanctification.  The fancy word that means to be made holy or set apart.  When we first experience the weight of our sin, we recognize that we are unworthy to stand before a holy God, we confess our sin and come into the light of salvation, it isn’t an immediate and complete change.  We have so many bad habits and areas of weakness, that is why Paul calls us spiritual babes.  We dine on milk as small children do, but the natural progression is to start with semi solid foods and gradually move on up to the steak and mashed potatoes.

Stagnation in our faith is really losing ground.  The spiritual life and the natural life have so many comparisons.  I read of a story of neglect of two girls in the Midwest ages 6 and 7, their parents only fed them milk, they were starving to death and their blood chemistry was at a toxic level with their liver enzymes.  We need to progress in our faith if we want to grow, otherwise our faith will die.  Like the saying, if you are coasting it means you are going downhill.

In the last two verses is where we will be spending most of our time today, it is another warning, and it was almost like Moses had looked into the future and saw what had happened.

25 The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction.

When I first read this verse, I immediately thought of Achan, and as I was studying this passage I began reading in Joshua chapter 7.  It is the story of how after conquering Jericho the people were going to go up to this other town and take it over, and there was only an army of 3000 people, so they didn’t send a large army, but they were beaten and about 36 of their own people were killed in the attack. After coming back, Joshua falls on his face before the Lord and this is what the Lord replies in Joshua 7:10-11 10 The Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.

Joshua with the help of the Lord found out it was this Achan fellow just like it was predicted in Deuteronomy.

Joshua 7:24-25” And Joshua and all Israel with him took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver and the cloak and the bar of gold, and his sons and daughters and his oxen and donkeys and sheep and his tent and all that he had. And they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why did you bring trouble on us? The Lord brings trouble on you today.” And all Israel stoned him with stones. They burned them with fire and stoned them with stones.

Deut: 7:26a  And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it.

One of the things that I like about the Old Testament in particular is that there is a lot of comparing and contrasting that we see.  I for me as I read the passage in Joshua about Achan, I went to the previous chapter to read about the fall of Jericho and I was surprised to find this, let me read Joshua 6:20-25

So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. 21 Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute's house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father's household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Rahab invites the righteous spies into her home and ends up saving her entire family, everyone that was in her home.  It is easy to contrast this with Achan who brought destruction to everyone in his home by bringing things that were evil and destined for destruction.

So here is the application part of our talk today.  Are you being a Rahab or are you being an Achan?  The call to obedience is clear, you have heard it your whole life, but we are like children, we hear, but we don’t listen.  I have one particular child that when I give instruction to, the first response I most often receive is “in a minute” but then time goes by and I repeat the request, and again I hear “in a minute” when pressed, I almost always get push back and then it goes into a discipline situation.  Many times, I find that I, myself am doing the same thing to the message of the gospel, “in a minute Lord”, “I have to do these other things first”.  I am unwilling to clear out the objects meant for destruction, because they have some perceived pleasure.

As a country we have allowed evil in and look at our culture. I don’t have to point out that our drug use, homelessness and suicide rates have skyrocketed in the last 20 years.  There is a callousness that seems to permeate our country and we are headed for destruction.

The same is true of our cities.  Things look different in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle compared to cities with less permissive laws.

Also our schools, the number of children with mental disorders and behavioral issues has skyrocketed and our curriculum has also become debased.

Our Homes as well.  Most of us have TV, Movies, Magazines, social media, and cell phones with easy access to pornography.  Our families are eroding away, with most people now not even bothering to get married but bounce from guy to guy or girl to girl leaving broken relationships and fatherless children all over.

But let’s look at the real issue. We can’t fix our society or people overnight; our responsibility is that of our own heart.  What things that are devoted for destruction have we allowed into the home of our heart.  Disobedience, anger, lust, jealousy, lying, laziness?  We allow darkness in and expect zero consequences.  We preach that God is a loving God and full of grace, but we forget to mention that as Colossians 3:5 says, 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.

These things are a heart issue, and we allow this darkness in. 

So, what then is our escape?

We are commanded to obey and walk in the light.  In I John 5-9 we see instructions:  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Have you been telling people that you are walking in the light while you are actually walking in darkness? Are you feeling the truth of God’s word bubble up inside your heart, calling you to confession?  This is the path to forgiveness.  He is faithful and just to forgive us.

Achan didn’t repent, he was found out.  Don’t let these things that are devoted to destruction into your home or heart, confess and walk in the light!