“Not for thine own righteousness、 nor for the uprightness of thine own heart> art thou′ going in to possess their land,—but <for the lawlessness of these nations> is ||Yahweh thy God|| driving them out from before thee, and that he may establish the word which Yahweh sware′ unto thy fathers, unto Abraham、 unto Isaac、 and unto Jacob. So then, thou must consider that <not for thine own righteousness> is ||Yahweh thy God|| giving unto thee this good land、 to possess it,—for <a stiff-necked people> thou art′.”

Here we have Moses speaking to the gathered tribes of Israel as they prepare to enter and take the Promised Land.  Lest they think too highly of themselves, Moses tells them in plain, straightforward (one might say blunt) language that God was not giving them the land “for thine own righteousness.”  He was giving them the land because he was bringing judgment upon the nations in the land, which were very wicked nations indeed.

The nations in the Promised Land were brutal, dark, and filled with immorality. They practiced child sacrifice and they were consumed with sexuality in any and every form [Hmm…this sounds strangely familiar].  God had patiently waited for judgment on these nations, but now their sins were “complete,” just as he had predicted:

Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” – Gen 15.13-16

God was patient with these nations, but his patience had come to an end and nothing more awaited them except judgment.

It’s interesting that implicit in this judgment is the fact that it is God, the God of the Israelites who can and will judge and punish every nation.  He is sovereign over all of them.

He is, of course, the same God today as he was then, and he will, of course, bring the same judgment upon nations whose sin is complete.  This ought to frighten us.