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This small group Deuteronomy 7 Bible study guide contains commentary, discussion questions, cross-references, and application to encourage life change. Visit our library of inductive Bible studies for more in depth inductive studies on this and other books of the Bible you can use in your small group.

Deuteronomy 7 Bible Study Commentary And Discussion Questions

Outline

I. Do not intermingle (1-6a)
II. God’s grace toward Israel (6b-10)
III. The blessings of obedience (11-16)
IV. Be bold and trust in God (17-26)

I. Do not intermingle (1-6a)

Discussion Questions

• What is the significance of the phrase, “When the Lord… brings you into the land” instead of “if?”
• What would be the source of their victory?
• Why should Israel not make a covenant with the people of the land?
• What command is given in verse 3?
• Why were they commanded not to intermarry?
• Is this command about ethnicity or faith?
• What is a New Testament command to believers that is similar to this one?
• What are the likely consequences when a believer marries an unbeliever?
• What would you say to a believer who is contemplating a serious romantic relationship with an unbeliever?
• How was Israel to approach the religions of the land?
• How should we approach other faiths today? Should we break down and burn their idols?
• What reason is given in verse 6 for Israel to be separate from the people in the land?

Cross-References

1 Corinthians 15:33 – Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

2 Corinthians 7:1 – Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.

1 Peter 1:15-16 – But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Verse by Verse Commentary

1. When not if –

Deuteronomy 7:1 – When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it.

God was going to give Israel victory and bring them into the land. He promised this land to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) hundreds of years before. Later, he promised it to Isaac and Jacob. Their victory was not a question of “if” but “when.”

All of God’s promises will be fulfilled in His good time.

Application – God’s promises to us will also be fulfilled in due time. Knowing this should build up our faith when the waiting seems long.

2. Devote them to complete destruction – This topic was shared about extensively in our study on Deuteronomy 2. See notes on that chapter for a detailed look at this command.

In this passage, the focus is specifically on intermarriage and the consequences of disobedience.

3. You shall not intermarry with them – God’s command to Israel cannot be more clear. They are forbidden from intermarriage with the pagan nations of the land. To make sure there were no loopholes, they were forbidden to marry either the men or women of the land.

Deuteronomy 7:4 – For they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly.

The results of intermarriage would be devastating for their faith. Intermarriage would lead the Jews away from God. This was not an issue of ethnicity but of faith. Thus it is a command against interfaith relationships.

Marriage is the most intimate relationship people experience. It is impossible for a person not to be influenced in some way by their spouse.

Solomon is an example of this. He was the wisest person in the world, but his marriages to unbelieving women shipwrecked his faith in the Lord.

This is not only a command for Old Testament Jews. The same principle is true for believers in the church today. Paul taught extensively on this issue in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 – Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,
“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”

Paul here makes five contrasts here as to why believers should not be bound together with unbelievers.

Righteousness vs. lawlessness – He contrasts righteousness and lawlessness. Believers have the righteousness of Christ. Unbelievers are enslaved to sin. The direction, purpose, and vision of their lives are at odds.

Light vs. darkness – Jesus has opened the eyes of believers and shown them the light. Unbelievers are in the dark, slaves of sin, and blind to the truth. Jesus also warned us to beware of “blind guides” (Matthew 15:14.) Generally, the two sides of a dating relationship will both give advice to the other side on many life issues. It would be unfair to be in this kind of relationship and never listen to the other side, but if you do listen to the other side, it is listening to a blind guide.

Christ vs. Belial (that is Satan) – No one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). There is no middle. Either we belong to Christ or we belong to Satan. There should be no partnership between the two.

Believer vs. unbeliever – From 2 Corinthians 5:17, we know that the believer is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come. One cannot mix old and new. The believer still has his old flesh nature as well as the new nature. The unbeliever only has a sinful nature, not a new nature. This will be two against one.
If you believe in God, then you know that He is the creator. He made you. He made you for a purpose. You will one day face Him. He is the highest being in the universe. He is the King of Kings. Now He sits on the throne. This belief should guide every aspect of your life, every decision that you make. Unbelievers do not believe or accept that.

The worldviews are completely incompatible.

Temple of God vs. idols – As believers, even our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. Unbelievers are dedicated to fleshly desires: sex, money, security, big house, education, career, position, fame, etc. These cannot mix.

Even after that, he quotes God’s command that we be separate from the world. Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to the world or its ways. We have to be set apart and dedicated to God. How can we be set apart to God if we are involved in a dating relationship with an unbeliever?

The dangers of intermarriage

There are many dangers of intermarriage.

Amos 3:3 – Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Shouldn’t your closest companion be agreed with you on the most important thing in life? If two are not agreed on the most important things, there will be lots of problems later on. How will these problems be reconciled? Most likely, they will be solved by the believer giving in, at least a lot of the time.

Marriage is the most intimate and important relationship you can have. Whom you marry will have a dramatic effect on your life. Your spouse will influence you in big and small ways every day. But if you date or marry an unbeliever, there will be fundamental disagreements in almost every arena. Here are some examples:

• How to spend your money – Believers should practice giving offerings to God. Not only do they give God some part of what they make, but they also should seek to use it for His glory and His kingdom. The unbeliever is not interested in contributing to missions. Neither is he interested in investing in God’s kingdom. He wants to use it to satisfy his desires or get more.
• How to raise your children – Believers want to prepare their children to face God one day. So they desire to teach them the Bible and a Christian worldview. They want to teach their kids about the errors of evolution and train them from a young age to know and follow God. Unbelievers do not agree with these things. And what is more, their entire approach to education is different. Their vision for education is preparing them to be successful in this world. They will follow the culture around them. So will you give your kids a Christian education or a secular one? Will you send your kids to church or soccer league? Will you spend time having devotions with your kids or instead have them tutored to raise their grades? Will you discipline your kids or pamper them? These are a few of the thousands of potential areas of disagreement.
• How to spend your free time – Study the Bible, go to prayer meetings, or go see a movie? Spend Sundays worshiping God or going shopping? There is a fundamental disagreement on what is worth doing.
• What careers to pursue – One’s worldview affects his choice of career. Some careers may be unethical. Others may “require” doing something unethical to advance yourselves. Other times career and family or God may be at odds. How will you solve these conflicts with your spouse if your priorities are so different?
The list of potential disagreements is endless. One’s worldview affects everything about one’s life, every decision that one makes. If you marry an unbeliever, then you are putting yourself into a dangerous situation that will either stunt your spiritual growth or lead you away from the Lord completely.

The people around us influence us. We should proactively establish relationships with godly believers so that we can be strengthened in our faith. At the same time, we should avoid unhealthy relationships which will influence us negatively.

Proverbs 13:20 – Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Marriage is the best opportunity to have some walk alongside you and help you in your walk with the Lord. It can also represent the biggest risk to your relationship with God if you marry the wrong person.

Application – The application is very simple. Obey God’s command. Do not get married to or date an unbeliever. Also, encourage those around you to obey this command by giving them wise counsel.

Proverbs 6:27-28 – Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned? Or can one walk on hot coals and his feet not be scorched?

4. Break down their altars – God knew that allowing the pagan religious idols and relics to remain would ensnare the people. They would be curious about and attracted to these expensive, beautiful, artistic, and mystical objects.

Ephesians 4:27 – Give no opportunity to the devil.

God wanted His people to be holy and separate. They were not to intermingle with the pagan people in the land or become assimilated.

Even though God gave this command, Israel would soon start turning to idolatry. They did not obey this instruction and the result for them as a nation was catastrophic.

We should take note that this command was given to a specific people (the nation of Israel) at a specific time. God does not command all believers from all eras to destroy our neighbors’ idols.

My family was traveling in Indonesia and while we were in a car on the road we were praying for the country. One of my sons prayed that “God would send lightning from heaven to destroy their idols.” This started a good conversation about whether we should raze them as Israel did in the Old Testament.

Our conclusion was that we should do “all things for the sake of the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:23) Most likely, demolishing idols would cause great offense and push people away from the message of the gospel.

While God gave Israel this authority, we do not have this authority in many places today. But we do have this authority in our own homes and churches.

Application – We need to be aware of and deal with any negative influences that could become a snare to us or our families. God has given par