Deuteronomy 7–9; Psalm 55

A Chosen People

When the eLord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, and clears away many nations before you, fthe Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations gmore numerous and mightier than you, hand when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must idevote them to complete destruction.1 jYou shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. kYou 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. lThen the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you mquickly. But thus shall you deal with them: nyou shall break down their altars and dash in pieces their npillars and chop down their nAsherim and oburn their carved images with fire.

For pyou are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be pa people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but qit is because the Lord loves you and is keeping rthe oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, sthe faithful God twho keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and urepays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them. vHe will not be slack with one who hates him. He will repay him to his face. 11 wYou shall therefore be careful to do the commandment and the statutes and the rules that I command you today.

12 xAnd because you listen to these rules and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you ythe covenant and the steadfast love that he swore to your fathers. 13 He will zlove you, bless you, and multiply you. aHe 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. bThere 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 cdiseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. 16 And dyou shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. eYour eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be fa snare to you.

17 If you say in your heart, These nations are greater than I. How can I dispossess them? 18 gyou shall not be afraid of them but you shall hremember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials that your eyes saw, ithe 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, jthe 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 kin your midst, la great and awesome God. 22 mThe Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once,2 lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. 23 nBut the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. 24 And ohe will give their kings into your hand, and you shall pmake their name perish from under heaven. qNo one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. 25 The carved images of their gods ryou shall burn with fire. You sshall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be tensnared 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 destruction3 like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, ufor it is devoted to destruction.

Remember the Lord Your God

The whole commandment that I command you today vyou shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you wthese forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, xtesting you yto know what was in your heart, zwhether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and alet you hunger and bfed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that cman does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word4 that comes from the mouth of the Lord. dYour clothing did not wear out on you and your foot did not swell these forty years. Know then in your heart that, eas a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, fa land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, gof vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.

11 Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 hlest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 ithen your heart be lifted up, and you jforget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who kled you through the great and terrifying wilderness, lwith its fiery serpents and scorpions mand thirsty ground where there was no water, nwho brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with omanna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, pto do you good in the end. 17 Beware qlest you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for rit is he who gives you power to get wealth, sthat he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, tI solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, uso shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.

Not Because of Righteousness

Hear, O Israel: you are vto cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations wgreater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, xthe sons of the Anakim, ywhom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, Who can stand before the sons of Anak? Know therefore today that he who zgoes over before you aas a consuming fire is the Lord your God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. bSo you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

cDo not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land, whereas it is dbecause of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. eNot because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm fthe word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Know, therefore, that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are ga stubborn people. Remember and do not forget how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness. hFrom the day you came out of the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord. Even iat Horeb you provoked the Lord to wrath, and the Lord was so angry with you that he was ready to destroy you. jWhen I went up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord made with you, I remained on the mountain kforty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water. 10 And lthe Lord gave me the two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words that the Lord had spoken with you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire mon the day of the assembly. 11 And at the end of forty days and forty nights the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord said to me, nArise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you have brought from Egypt have acted corruptly. They have oturned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them; they have made themselves a metal image.

The Golden Calf

13 pFurthermore, the Lord said to me, I have seen this people, and behold, it is ga stubborn people. 14 qLet me alone, that I may destroy them and rblot out their name from under heaven. And sI will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they. 15 tSo I turned and came down from the mountain, and uthe mountain was burning with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands. 16 And vI looked, and behold, you had sinned against the Lord your God. You had made yourselves a golden5 calf. wYou had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took hold of the two tablets and threw them out of my two hands and broke them before your eyes. 18 Then I xlay prostrate before the Lord yas before, forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin that you had committed, zin doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger. 19 For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure that the Lord bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. aBut the Lord listened to me that time also. 20 And the Lord was so angry with Aaron that he was ready to destroy him. And I prayed for Aaron also at the same time. 21 Then bI took the sinful thing, the calf that you had made, and burned it with fire and crushed it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust. And I threw the dust of it into the brook that ran down from the mountain.

22 At cTaberah also, and at dMassah and at eKibroth-hattaavah you provoked the Lord to wrath. 23 And fwhen the Lord sent you from Kadesh-barnea, saying, Go up and take possession of the land that I have given you, then you rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God and gdid not believe him or obey his voice. 24 hYou have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you.

25 xSo I lay prostrate before the Lord for these forty days and forty nights, because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26 iAnd I prayed to the Lord, O Lord God, do not destroy your people and your heritage, whom you have redeemed through your greatness, whom you have brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin, 28 lest the land from which you brought us say, jBecause the Lord was not able to bring them into the land that he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness. 29 kFor they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out by your great power and by your outstretched arm.


Cast Your Burden on the Lord

To the choirmaster: with fstringed instruments. A Maskil1 of David.

55  gGive ear to my prayer, O God,

and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!

Attend to me, and answer me;

I am restless hin my complaint and I imoan,

because of the noise of the enemy,

because of the oppression of the wicked.

For they jdrop trouble upon me,

and in anger they bear a grudge against me.

My heart is in anguish within me;

kthe terrors of death have fallen upon me.

Fear and trembling come upon me,

and lhorror moverwhelms me.

And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest;

nyes, I would wander far away;

I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah

I would hurry to find a shelter

from othe raging wind and tempest.

Destroy, O Lord, pdivide their tongues;

for I see qviolence and strife in the city.

10  Day and night they go around it

on its walls,

and riniquity and trouble are within it;

11  ruin is in its midst;

soppression and fraud

do not depart from its marketplace.

12  For it is not an enemy who taunts me

then I could bear it;

it is not an adversary who tdeals insolently with me

then I could hide from him.

13  uBut it is you, a man, my equal,

my companion, my familiar friend.

14  We used to take sweet counsel together;

within God’s house we walked in vthe throng.

15  Let death steal over them;

let them go down to Sheol walive;

for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.

16  But I call to God,

and the Lord will save me.

17  xEvening and ymorning and at znoon

I autter my complaint and moan,

and he hears my voice.

18  He redeems my soul in safety

from the battle that I wage,

for bmany are arrayed against me.

19  God will give ear and humble them,

he who is centhroned from of old, Selah

because they do not dchange

and do not fear God.

20  My companion2 estretched out his hand against his friends;

he violated his covenant.

21  His fspeech was gsmooth as butter,

yet war was in his heart;

his words were softer than oil,

yet they were hdrawn swords.

22  iCast your burden on the Lord,

and he will sustain you;

jhe will never permit

the righteous to be moved.

23  But you, O God, kwill cast them down

into lthe pit of destruction;

men of mblood and treachery

shall not nlive out half their days.

But I will otrust in you.