Conquest: In the World but Not of the World, Deuteronomy 7

“Conquest: In the World but Not of the World”

Deuteronomy 7:1-16

December 11, 2022

Faith Presbyterian Church – Morning Service

Pastor Nicoletti

The Reading of the Word

This morning, we come to Deuteronomy chapter seven. All of chapter seven is printed for you in the bulletin, but today we will consider verses one through five, and then verses eleven through sixteen, and then next week we will consider the rest of chapter seven.

And so please do listen carefully, for this is God’s word for us this morning.

Moses said to the people:

“When the Lord [when Yahweh] your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and mightier than you, and when Yahweh your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of Yahweh would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly. But thus shall you deal with them: you shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and chop down their Asherim and burn their carved images with fire.

[…]

11 You shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

12 “And because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, Yahweh 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 Yahweh 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 Yahweh 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.

This is the word of the Lord. (Thanks be to God.)

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” [1 Peter 1:24-25]

Let’s pray …

Prayer of Illumination

Lord, your hands have made and fashioned us;

give us understanding that we may learn your commandments,

that we your people might rejoice together,

as we see the work that you are doing in each of us.

Let your steadfast love comfort us,

according to your promises.

Work now in our hearts, to conform them to your word,

that we may not be put to shame,

but might delight in you.

Teach us from your word now, we ask,

in Jesus’s name. Amen

[Based on Psalm 119:73, 74, 76, 80]

Introduction

Our text this morning revolves around a central theme: the call for Israel to be in Canaan, but not of Canaan – for them to enter the promised land, but not become like the people of the promised land. And those are the elements of the text that we will especially focus on this morning.

The Call to Be in the World

So the first thing we see is that Israel is called to enter into the pagan land of Canaan.

God calls Israel to enter into close contact with pagans and with pagan culture. And it’s worth stopping and reflecting on what that meant, and the implications of God calling Israel to do that.

First, when we read texts like this, we tend to come away with flawed understandings of the conquest of the promised land. For one thing, we tend to think it was a fast process, when actually verse 22 of Deuteronomy 7 tells us that from the beginning, God said it would be a long and slow process. We may tend to think the warfare of the conquest was aimed at small civilian towns, when actually it was aimed at military installations. We may tend to think that the calls here to show no mercy were universal, when actually we see in the examples of Rahab and the Gibbosities, and the Jebusites, that when people repented and placed their faith in the Lord, they were often rightly incorporated into the community of Israel and regarded members of Israel. The Jebusites might be the best example of this. The Jebusites are listed here in our text, in verse one, among those to be destroyed, but in Zechariah 9:7, written centuries later, the Jebusites are listed as one of the clans of Israel, in the tribe of Judah. [Wright, TGIDU, 102-103] The great triumph of Israel in their engagement with the Jebusites was not their military conquering of the Jebusites, but their spiritual conquering of the Jebusites, so that they became believers. There is a lot more we could say about all this, but it’s not the main focus of our text, and so it won’t be our main focus either. But I did speak about the nature of the conquest in more detail last year, in a sermon on October 10, 2021, titled “The Conquest Begins” and you can find that on our website, and I’d really encourage you to if you have questions about the nature of Israel’s warfare in the conquest. [https://www.faithtacoma.org/deuteronomy-nicoletti/the-conquest-begins-deuteronomy-217-and-224-311]

But here’s the point for us today: The call to the conquest was not quick and straight-forward. It was a process that took centuries. It was a process that included living in close proximity to the pagans of Canaan. It was a process that involved the kinds of interactions that could lead the Canaanites to know the Lord – the God of Israel … as well as the kinds of interactions that could tempt Israelites towards the gods of Canaan. That is what God called his people to. He called them out of the wilderness … in which God’s people were off by themselves … and into this new situation in Canaan where they would have more interaction with the pagans of the land. And the nature of that calling is worth reflecting on.

Because many Christians would think of where Israel was before the conquest, and where they are going in the conquest, in very different ways than God seems to.

After all, where had Israel been up to this point? Israel has been in the wilderness. Israel has been in the desert. But in the wilderness – in the desert – Israel has had real distance from the pagans of Canaan. I mean, think about it. They have been physically separated from the people of Canaan. They’ve been culturally separate from Canaan. They’ve been economically separate from Canaan – with their own flocks and herds and with miraculous provision of food and water in the desert. Israel had an independent existence, separated from the pagan world. For the most part, they didn’t have to deal with pagan leaders, they didn’t have to engage in pagan economies, their children weren’t surrounded by pagan neighbors … the people of God had a separated existence from the pagan world. Of course there were times when pagans tried to culturally or spiritually or militarily invade the camp of Israel – we can think of the Midianites as an example. But such spiritual attacks were, it would seem, all the more obvious because Israel was otherwise separated from the pagan world.

For many Christians both today and throughout our history, Israel’s life of separation in the wilderness would be their ideal. It was, in many ways, the life of the cloister which many Christians over the centuries sought refuge in, it’s the option of cultural withdrawal that so many evangelicals romanticize today, it’s the spiritual life in the desert that so many in the early church literally retreated to – and Israel was already there. They already had what so many Christians over the centuries have longed for and sought: an almost complete withdrawal from the world, and the freedom from worldly temptations that comes with it … and then God ruined it. It’s God who smashed the ideal. It’s God’s fault that Israel would soon be so close to the pagan world.

He is, after all, the one who called them to go into the land of Canaan. This chapter is all about the temptation that Israel did not face in the wilderness, but would face once they entered Canaan. But it’s God who is driving them into that new situation – it’s God who is calling them to go into the pagan world, and therefore into those new temptations. God could have kept providing for them in the wilderness as he had been for forty years. Beyond that, God could have turned the desert in which Israel traveled into a fruitful oasis – he is, after all, God. But he didn’t. Instead, he sent them into Canaan. God called them into the pagan world.

And he does the same with us. It’s what he calls the Church to. We can’t escape it. Jesus gave us our marching orders at the end of Matthew’s gospel – he called us to our conquest there. He said: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:18-20]

Now, that call is not a call for every individual Christian to go into foreign missions. It’s a call that will play out differently in the lives of different individual Christians. But it is a call to the Church as a whole in which every Christian will have some part. And at the very least it is a call into the world. “Go” to the “nations,” Jesus says. Just as the Lord sent Israel among the pagan Canaanite nations, so Jesus sends us among the pagan nations. And he calls us to conquer them for him. He calls us to the spiritual battle that is evangelism and mission.

But that calling comes with difficulties. It’s not easy to be engaged with the world while maintaining our spiritual distinctions. That is the very tension at the heart of this text [Wright, 109-110, 117, 119] – to go into the unbelieving world, to be engaged there long-term, but to remain spiritually distinct. That is God’s calling for Israel here. That is God’s calling for us.

In response we are often tempted to resist – to refuse to go into the world. But Israel knew they had to go. Because they knew what happened when their parents had refused.

When God had called their parents to go into the land of Canaan, they had refused, for fear that they and their children would be destroyed by the inhabitants. [Deuteronomy 1:27, 39] Now, it’s true that their fear had more to do with battle than with temptation. But the underlying issue was the same: they refused to go where God had sent them because they feared the risks of it – for themselves and for their children. And God’s response was that that generation would die in the wilderness, and their children – the very ones they said they were afraid for – would enter the land. And now, forty years later, in Deuteronomy 7, Moses is calling those children, now raised to adulthood, to enter the land. And they are going to obey.

In the face of such a calling, human wisdom tells us to withdraw. Human wisdom tells us, for our sake and for the sake of our children, not to enter these lands filled with dangerous pagans, but to stay in the desert. That was the logic of the first exodus generation. It was sound human wisdom. But it was contrary to God’s wisdom. It was contrary to God’s express command. And God judged them for it. They would perish in the wilderness rather than flourish there.

In the same way God calls us. He calls us, in the Sermon on the Mount, to be visible enough as a community to be seen, as a light to the world – a city on a hill. He calls us to be integrated into the world enough that we would have preserving and enhancing effects on it, much like salt has on the things it is added to. He calls us not to put our light under a basket, but to let our “light shine before others, so that they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:13-16] He calls us to go into the pagan nations and make disciples of them. [Matthew 28:19]

Of course we are to exercise godly wisdom and caution as we do that. Israel entered the pagan land, and they would bring their children, but they wouldn’t put their children on the front lines of the battle. Wisdom and caution are necessary and important. And yet, our trajectory is to be towards engagement.

That means that when it comes to our children, our ultimate goal is not to keep them separated from the pagan, unbelieving world, but to prepare them for it. Yes, when young and vulnerable they are not yet ready to be on the front lines of battle. But we need to be careful that we are raising them to one day go to the front lines of battle, and not preparing them just to flee to the isolation of the desert. Our calling as their parents, as their grandparents, as their mentors in the church, is to prepare them for the Lord’s call to go into the world – to go to the nations. That readiness won’t come automatically. It won’t click into place when they reach a certain age. We need to be preparing them for that. Do we have that in mind?

This calling to go also means for us, that ordinarily we ourselves, are called in some way, in some dimension of our lives, to be engaged with the unbelieving world ourselves. That calling will look different for different people and in different stages of life … but most of us should have some place in our lives where we are involved with and facing the unbelieving world. We should have some place in our life where we see the Lord has sent us out, to engage with the world, to be salt and light, to seek in word or in deed to make disciples, to love our non-Christian neighbors.

Some of you already have those places built into your lives, in your workplace or with your non-believing family, or in some ministry or some other setting … and your calling is to remember that the Lord has placed you where you are and he has called you to be his representative there – to be salt and light.

Others of you may need to be more intentional – to prayerfully consider if and where the Lord is calling you to be more engaged with the unbelieving world around you.

Whatever it may look like for you, the first thing our text reminds us of is that we are called to go out, and to be in the world.

The Call to Not Be of the World

The second thing we see is that we are called not to be of the world. More specifically: we are not to adopt the world’s idols.

And we see that in verses one through five. Especially in verse five, Moses’s focus is that in their own lives, as they enter the land, Israel is not to worship the idols of the land, but to reject the idols of the land.

But Moses expects that the idols of the land will be a temptation for them … just as they are often a temptation for us. Now … what do I mean by that?

Well, pagan idolatry typically takes a good thing, and then, both in society and in our hearts, it treats that good thing as an ultimate thing. It calls us to worship some aspect of the creation rather than the Creator. The ancients may have personified their idols and ritualized their worship, but at heart our modern secular culture is not as different from their ancient pagan culture as we often think. And we see that right in our text.

The religious pillars referred to in verse five, were likely phallic symbols used as part of a fertility cult. [Wright, 111] The Asherim also mentioned in verse five was usually a carved image of the female god Ashtoreth, often depicted in the nude and also associated with fertility. [Sayce & Jung, 1.320] The fertility in view had to do both with human sexuality and also with the success of one’s crops and livestock [Craige & Wilson, 4.101], which were the main source of both subsistence and also wealth in the ancient world. In other words, the Canaanites worshiped sex and prosperity. They are not so different from us after all.

And like the ancient Israelites when they entered Canaan, we too are tempted to join into the pagan worship around us. Sex and wealth are not bad things in themselves – they are, in fact good gifts of God. The same is true of power, and of success, and of pleasure, and of many other things. What paganism does, and what it tempts us to do, is to elevate those things from being good things in our lives, to being ultimate things in our lives – things which we worship. Things which we believe will give us peace, and security, and joy, and even transcendence.

And the temptation to adopt our cultures idols may come at us in a few ways.

One way is the temptation to compartmentalize our lives. Keep in mind: Moses does not paint a picture here of Israel rejecting Yahweh their God completely, in favor of the Canaanite gods. Rather, he is describing the risk of them adding the Canaanite gods to their pantheon of worship, and limiting the place of Yahweh in their lives in order to accommodate those other gods.

And we face the same temptation of continuing to think of ourselves as Christians, even as we add the gods of modern secularism – the gods of wealth, and sex, and comfort, and success – to the pantheon of our worship. This is the temptation to compartmentalize our faith in order to accommodate the gods of secular culture. On Sundays we worship Yahweh in his sanctuary. But Monday through Friday we forget him, and give ourselves wholly to the gods of wealth and worldly achievement. In the morning, during our private quiet time we lift our hearts up to the Lord, but at night, in another sort of private quiet time, we may give our hearts to lust, or to some other form of idolatrous sinful pleasure.

Another way this temptation to worship the world’s idols can come at us is through inappropriate political covenants. Moses addresses this in verse two. As commentator Christopher Wright points out, the sort of covenants Moses alludes to here in the ancient world, typically required each nation to recognize the other nation’s gods – to make room for the other nation’s gods alongside their own. [Wright, 110]. And this is a temptation we face all the time today.

Francis Schaeffer highlighted this temptation by distinguishing between two types of political partnerships for Christians in a secular culture. One he called co-belligerency. The other he called an alliance. Co-belligerency is when two people or two groups agree on a specific topic and can work together on that topic even while they disagree on much deeper spiritual and moral issues. We can be co-belligerents with Muslims as we work for religious freedom, or we can be co-belligerents with atheists as we work to alleviate poverty, and so on. An ally, on the other hand, is someone with whom we agree with on the deeper realities of life. And we may be co-belligerents with all kinds of people, we should only be true allies with other believers.

The danger, as Schaeffer saw it, is that as we engage with politics, we can shift, without realizing it, from viewing secular people we agree with in the political sphere as co-belligerents, to viewing them as allies. Shaeffer, in one book, expressed his fear that older evangelicals would shift from seeing secular conservatives as co-belligerents to seeing them as deeper allies, while younger evangelicals would do the same with the secular left. And while the division is not always by age, we do see those kinds of trends today. We can treat our secular political partners as if they were also our spiritual allies, even if they are not Christians. [Schaeffer, 30-31]

When we do this, in Moses’s terms, we are accommodating their idols. We may not be removing Yahweh, the God of the Bible, from our lives, but we are making room for the secular idols of our political allies. We are worshiping not just the Lord, but also their gods. Do you see this tendency in your own life?

To be clear: Schaeffer was not against political activity – that was not at all his point. His concern was for when we elevate the political over the spiritual. His concern was when we go beyond working with and cooperating with idolaters, and instead begin to recognize and serve their gods.

This is a second way that Moses recognizes we may be tempted to adopt the idols of those around us.

A third form this temptation can take, is to adopt the gods of those around us through our close relationships with non-believers. This is the situation where, rather than being salt and light to an unbelieving world, rather than our faith spreading to others, their faith spreads to us. Moses identifies this in verses three and four.

The concern in these verses is not interracial marriage, but inter-religious marriage, as religiously mixed marriages so often draw one spouse away from their faith, and Moses is clear that our chief allegiance must be to the Lord. Moses makes that concern clear in verse four. [Wright. 110]

Implied in these verses is that living among non-believers will mean that in those close relationships we will face unique spiritual challenges as we see non-believers close up, recognize the good in their lives, care about them and love them … and in the process we are tempted to think that maybe your exclusive allegiance to the Lord is not as important as we thought.

And notice here that Moses’s commandment does not totally eliminate that struggle. It limits it, to be sure, by forbidding marriage between a believer and a non-believer. But it also assumes the context of the situation, in which a believer and a non-believer know and like each other enough to want to be married, or to want to have their children become married.

Philosopher Charles Taylor identifies this struggle of proximity with those of very different beliefs as a key element in our secular age. As Christians living in our culture, we know and care about people in whom we see much good … people, whom, Taylor writes, we “cannot in all honesty just dismiss as depraved, or blind, or unworthy” but who at the same time reject our deepest beliefs about God, and morality, and the world. [Taylor, 3; also 11] And that, Taylor points out, often puts a question mark beside our faith in our own hearts and minds. They worship the idols of our culture … but they seem like such nice people. The thought arises: maybe their gods are not so bad after all.

As we face all these temptations … what are we to do? How do we combat the temptation to not just be in the world, but to be of the world – to adopt the idols of the world, either through compartmentalization, through political alliance, through close relationships, or by some other means?

Moses gives us two answers here. He calls us to look more closely at the idols, and then to look more closely at our God.

First, he calls us to look more closely at the idols.

I recently started the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis. The book tells the story of the collapse of the housing market in 2007 and 2008. But more interestingly, the book follows those who saw the crash coming, and invested in a form of insurance called a credit default swap, so that they would make money if a certain fraction of the subprime mortgages within a certain bond went bad. [Lewis, 53, 55]

Lewis wanted to look at those who saw the crash coming, and learn how they knew it was going to happen, when so many – at least at the time – seemed oblivious to it.

One man Lewis focuses on is named Michael Burry. Burry was a doctor who decided to spend his spare time learning how the stock market worked, and then left the medical field to manage an investment fund. And in 2005 he predicted the coming subprime mortgage collapse, and invested accordingly. So how did he see it coming? What was the magic or special insight he employed? The answer is that he was willing to look more closely at what almost everyone else around him simply took for granted.

Lewis explains it like this. Subprime mortgages were being bundled together into bonds, with each bond containing thousands of subprime mortgages. And then those bonds were being sold as investments. And they were typically rated as solid and reliable investments. In fact, they were viewed as so reliable, that at the time Burry was first researching them, there wasn’t a way to take out insurance on them, because no one thought that anyone would even want to do that. They were seen as too safe to insure.

Lewis writes: “Every mortgage bond came with its own mind-numbingly tedious 130-page prospectus. If you read the fine print, you saw that each was its own little corporation. [Michael] Burry spent the end of 2004 and early 2005 scanning hundreds and actually reading dozens of them, certain he was the only one, apart from the lawyers who drafted them, to do so.” These documents were all available online – any investor could access them all for a subscription cost of just $100 a year. But no one had actually read them. No one else seemed to actually be interested in looking at them that closely. [Lewis, 27]

It was looking closely at the details of these prospectuses – at the available information about the actual loans that made up these bonds – that led Burry to see just how fragile they were.

The rest of the investment world simply assumed these mortgage bonds were solid. Alan Greenspan, the head of the Federal Reserve at the time, assured everyone that home prices are not prone to bubbles or major deflations on a national scale … and yet here was Michael Burry, a socially awkward t-shirt and short wearing manager of a relatively unknown mutual fund saying that he knew better than Alan Greenspan. [Lewis, 55] Everyone thought he was a moron. But in the end, he was right. By betting on the fragility of those bonds, he had made $750 million for his investors in 2007 alone, with his investment fund recording a 489% net return on investment over an eight-year period.

And he did all that simply by looking at something that the world around him assumed was strong and solid, and seeing that it was actually weak and fragile.

And Moses calls us to a similar approach when it comes to the idols of our culture. He calls us to look closely at those idols, to see how fragile they actually are, and to treat them as such. That fragility is, after all, the assumption of verse five.

These gods – or at least their idols – can be easily destroyed. The pillars, Moses points out, can be dashed to pieces. The wooden images can be chopped up and burned with fire. The alters can be broken down. Far from being able to defend and provide for human beings, it’s actually human beings that can destroy them. We come to such pagan deities because we feel vulnerable. But Moses reminds us that they are even more vulnerable than we are.

And that’s true of the secular idols of our culture as well.

Wealth can never ultimately satisfy, and even what we have can be lost in a minute. Power, though painstakingly gained, can often be quickly lost. Sexual allure is fleeting, and sexual satisfaction lasts but a moment. When we are tempted to worship the pagan deities of the unbelieving culture around us, the first thing Moses tells us is to look at them more closely and see how fragile and weak those idols actually are. They cannot actually deliver what they promise.

The world around us treats its idols much like Wallstreet treated subprime mortgage bonds in 2005. Everyone says they’re good. Everyone says they’re solid. In the case of the secular idols of our culture, everyone agrees that these things will make us happy, these things will give us purpose, these things will complete our lives. Everyone agrees they are a solid investment for our lives. But few have actually examined them that closely. Few have reflected on the fact that they never actually pay out. Few have been willing to notice how in history, in the lives of those in our culture, and in our own lives, these idols have always failed to protect their worshippers. They have been fragile, not strong. He calls us to see the fragility of these idols even as everyone else proclaims they are strong. And then he calls us to renounce and destroy them in our hearts and in our Christian communities.

People may think we are fools not to trust in wealth or power or pleasure or success. People may think we are morons. But like the majority around Michael Burry, they usually haven’t looked that close. They haven’t really examined these idols. They have taken their strength and stability on faith … though if they really looked, they too would see just how weak and fragile they are.

What idols do you need to look at more closely? What idols tend to captivate you? Is it wealth or success? Power or security? Pleasure or sex? The first thing Moses calls us to do is stop assuming those idols are strong and stable, and instead look more closely to see how weak and fragile they really are – to see how they fail to deliver what they promise.

That’s the first thing Moses calls us to do here.

The second thing is to look more closely at God and what he offers us. And we see that in verses twelve through fifteen. There we have a promise of blessing for Israel … but also more than that.

Remember, what did the idols of verse five promise? They were fertility gods. And so they promised fertile fields, and fertile flocks, and fertile human families. In verse five Moses reminds us that those idols are weak and fragile and cannot deliver.

But in verses twelve through fifteen, Moses tells the people that what those idols could not give, Yahweh, the God of Israel, could give. He promises that Yahweh, rather than those idols, will give them fertile fields, and flocks, and families. He promises that the God of the Bible is able to deliver what we really need, and what our idols fail to give us.

For us, this is a promise that whatever contentment, whatever peace, whatever joy, or transcendence the idols we are tempted to may offer us … God can give us that peace and that joy in a way that those idols never could. That is the implication of verses twelve through fifteen.

What are you looking to receive from idols … that you should be looking to receive from God? God, this morning, calls you to turn to him. He reminds you that he is able to satisfy the true needs of your heart like no idol of this world ever could.

Conclusion

God sends us into the world. But he calls us to not be of the world. He calls us to see the fragility of the world’s idols and to cling to him instead.

because he is more powerful than them all. He is more stable than them all. He is more gracious than them all. He is more loving than them all.

And he will never leave us nor forsake us.

Instead, he will be with us always, even to the end of the age.

And so, let us follow his call into the world. And let us hold fast to his promise as we do.

Amen.

This sermon draws on material from:

Barker, Paul. Introduction and notes to Deuteronomy in The ESV Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008.

Block, Daniel I. The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012.

Copan, Paul. Is God a Moral Monster?: Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

Craigie, P.C. & Wilson, G.H. “Religions of the Biblical World: Canaanite (Syria and Palestine).” In The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Fully Revised. Edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, et al. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988. 4.95-101.

Sayce, A.H. & Jung, K.G. “Ashtoreth.” In The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: Fully Revised. Edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley, et al. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988. 1.319-320.

Schaeffer, Francis. The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century in The Complete Works of Francis Schaeffer: A Christian Worldview, Volume Four, a Christian View of the Church. Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1982. Pages 3-110.

Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Webb, William J. and Gordon K. Oeste. Bloody Brutal and Barbaric?: Wrestling with Troubling War Texts. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2019.

Wright, Christopher. Deuteronomy. NIBC. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996.

Wright, Christopher J.H. The God I Don’t Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008.

For my earlier sermon on the conquest of Canaan:

Nicoletti, Steven. The Conquest Begins: Deuteronomy 2:17 and 2:24-3:11. Faith Presbyterian Church. October 10, 2021. Available at: https://www.faithtacoma.org/deuteronomy-nicoletti/the-conquest-begins-deuteronomy-217-and-224-311