Slay the “Ites”

By Greg Quinn

July 10th, 2011

The early chapters of Deuteronomy in the Holy Bible talks about the children of Israel being prepared for battle, and going in and conquering the land that was promised them for generations.  Moses had led the people of Israel out of bondage in Egypt.  Plagues were sent by God, and announced by Moses, to get Pharaoh to let God’s people go.  Pharaoh finally did let Israel go, and yet had a change of heart and followed them into the wilderness.  God opened the Red Sea for Israel to pass through, and destroyed the armies of Egypt who pursued.  God led Israel through the wilderness, but their disobedience caused all adult generation to not pass through, but spend 40 years wandering in the wilderness and dying there.  Moses himself would not go into the Promised Land, but Joshua was prepared in his stead to lead those who believed in God into the Promised Land, the land “flowing with milk and honey”.  But, as they went in, they had to “possess the land” and to do so, they had to slay the enemy that was already there.  Deuteronomy takes up with the preparation to go into the Promised Land, and the wars began against the Hittites, Jebusites, Gergashites, Amorites, Moabites, and others in the land.  Before they could inherit the promises of God, they had to destroy the “ites” that were in their way.

Other than an important history lesson, what does these battles between Israel and the “ites” of the land have to do with us today?  I think they share many important lessons. 

One, they show us that God is with us even against the odds.  Israel didn’t have the manpower, size, or artillery to go against the giants in the land.  But God showed very clearly that, “if God be for us, who can be against us”, and God led Israel to win the battles and defeat the enemy and possess the land.  All odds were against them, but they overcame all odds by focusing on God instead of the problem.  We have problems today, perhaps not literal giants who wish to destroy us with spear and sword, but “giant problems” just the same.  Sometimes the odds are against us.  But, if we focus on God, He will deliver us and make us victorious.

Two, these passages show us how God prepares for His people.  God’s people were slaves to the Egyptians, and were treated terribly.  The people in bondage prayed to God for deliverance.  Finally, God raised up Moses to be their deliverer and through Moses showed many miracles and mighty works.  God delivered Moses and all of Israel from Pharaoh and the armies of Egypt.  God fed His children in the wilderness, gave them the 10 Commandments (the Law) to live by, was merciful when they were disobedient, and even after their complaining for 40 years, allowed those who followed Him to enter into a land that had been promised to God’s people for generations.  God helped Israel to defeat larger and more powerful armies and possess the land, creating an inheritance for God’s chosen people, Israel, which continued for centuries and even continues today.  God had prepared his people for everything that came before them, and gave them victory.  Today, God prepares us for any battle we may have in our lives, and provides for us a means of victory.  If we but focus on God, and have faith in His ability to deliver us from our trials, struggles, and wars, God will come through for us and provide to us the promises of God; a life of joy and satisfaction on earth and eternal life with God in Heaven, our “Promised Land”.

Three, God uses these lessons to prepare us today to win the battle we have against our enemies, be they external enemies who wish to defeat us, or internal enemies that will destroy us just the same. 

God told his people that, when they entered the land and came up against the enemy armies, they were to “utterly destroy” the people, cattle, animals, everything.  They were to “slay the enemy”.  While this sounds cruel to us today, God knew what He was doing.  The enemy had to be utterly defeated to prevent them from reemerging in the future and threatening the life and prosperity of the people of Israel.  The enemy, all the “ites”, the Hittites, Jebusites, Gergashites, Moabites, etc. had to be utterly wiped out.

Today, we face our own enemies.  We have battles and wars.  Whether we win or not, like the children of Israel, depends upon our position with God.  If we fight the enemy on our own, we are outmanned, outnumbered, outsized, and will suffer defeat.  If we fight the enemy with God alongside us, then we will win.  We must have God on our side for victory against the “ites” of our lives today.

These enemies of us today may be external.  The enemy could be those who are against God, His people, and His Word that we can physically see.  It could be the mainstream news media, the Mediaites, who fight against Christianity and what it represents.  It could be most of our politicians, the Politicianites, who pass laws that destroy our rights as free Christians.  It could be some within the church itself, the Legalisticites, who push their legalistic agendas to the point where freedom in Christ is no longer found.  It could be the liberal mindset of the day, where everything is OK, there are no absolutes, and everyone has the same opportunity to find their own god in their own way, the Liberalites.  It could be the entertainment industry, the Smutites, who give us what we want, and because our desires for entertainment have become so warped and anti-God, gives us smut on TV, Internet, and in the theatre.  And, the Bible is clear that we war with Satan (the devil) and his armies of demons, and he is an external enemy that we must be prepared to fight daily. 

Our enemies today may be internal.  These internal enemies are most often the ones that do us the most harm.  These internal enemies are our “flesh”, our sinful nature, our desires to do the things that are wrong in the eyes of God.  These internal enemies keep us from living a victorious life and keep us from the promises of God.  These internal enemies are things like lust, selfishness, adultery, greed, fornication, uncleanness, drunkenness, idolatry, unkindness, lying, homosexuality, and others.  These internal enemies keep us from the Promised Land, the promises that God wants to deliver to us in our lives today, but as we lose the battle against these internal enemies, we lose the opportunity for success with God.

Just as God told Israel to “slay the enemy”, we are to utterly defeat these enemies in our lives today, be they internal or external.

How do we defeat the external enemies?  We defeat the Smutites, the smut and filth portrayed in the entertainment industry, by refusing to watch or listen to or participate in the entertainment.  If the movie portrays things you disagree with, don’t go to it.  If the TV show is filthy, turn it off or change the channel.  If the radio or CD portrays music that is against the nature of God and Christ, then don’t listen to it.  We have victory over the Smutites by refusing to participate in the smut.  Likewise, we defeat the Mediaites by not listening to or believing the information portrayed on mainstream liberal media.  If the news is against the things of God and positions the viewer to count as good things that are not, and count as bad things that are good, then this is nothing we need to participate in.  If the children of God today simply turned off the TV more, didn’t go to filthy movies, and didn’t listen to mainstream media, then the entertainment would slowly change for the better, and the message of the liberal media would fall on deaf ears and eventually change or die out.

We defeat the Politicianites by voting the politicians that position themselves against the things of God out of office, and my replacing them with God-fearing, courageous Christians who will represent us at the local and National levels as fellow Bible-believing, God-fearing Christians.  We slay the Liberalites by refusing to listen to their message, and speaking against it.  We remain conservative in our values, and push agendas that are represented by God’s Word, the Holy Bible.  We conquer the Legalisticites in our churches by teaching victory in Jesus, freedom from the bondage of sin through Christ, the joyful life that Christ died to give us, Christ-like love one for another. 

The more difficult enemies are often those within us.  We defeat them by looking in the mirror, listening to God, comparing our actions with the standards as defined in the Bible (not in the world), and changing.  A life of change for the better defeats the internal enemies.  These enemies are dangerous.  If we do not utterly slay them, totally wipe them out, then they will come back upon us again.  Slay the internal enemy that is robbing your victory and freedom.

Slay the enemy of lust, the Lustites, by keeping your mind clean, by keeping your mind focused on the things of God, by spending more time in Bible study and prayer, by refusing to listen to nasty jokes, and by refusing to watch or hear things that will cause you to sin the sin of lust.  Don’t spend time with the good-looking secretary in the office.  Turn your head away from the scantily clad beauty down the street.  Don’t go to the beach if going there causes you to lust.  Change the form of entertainment you watch and hear.  Don’t carpool with the member of the opposite sex that causes you to wonder how they are in bed.  Jesus tells us that adultery is bad, but if we have looked upon a woman to lust, we have committed adultery with her already in our minds.  Slay the Lustites in your life.  You can do it with God’s help.

Selfishness is a huge enemy of us today.  We all have our own desires, needs, and wants, and we put these above all else.  Most of the other deadly sins begin with selfishness.  If we slay the sin of selfishness, the Selfishites, then we not only overcome selfishness itself, but all of the other sins who are borne within.  How do we do this?  We look at how we should view others from God’s perspective.  God is no respecter of persons, in other words God doesn’t see any of us any better than any others.  So, why should we?  The Golden Rule applies here; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.  If we treated everyone else like we want to be treated ourselves, we would be a long ways toward defeating the Selfishites. 

Adulteryites are defeated by first by not being selfish, not lusting, and then not acting upon this selfishness and lust to fulfill your fleshly desires.  As good as she looks, and as nice as you think it may be, adultery is a very dangerous road.  Proverbs tells us that to commit adultery is to hate our own bodies.  If you don’t hate yourself, don’t commit adultery.

The enemy of greed, the Greedites, are very prolific today.  The Greedites are everywhere.  Our society is built upon greed.  The more we get, the more we want.  This is contrary to God’s position; He wants us to be content and satisfied.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, wanting to achieve, but when it gains an inordinate position in your life, this sets into greed.  A good way to overcome greed with your money is to give money away to help those in need.  A good way to overcome greed with your time is to donate your time to help someone else.  The Greedites can be defeated in your life.

Fornication (sex outside of marriage), uncleanness, and homosexuality can be overcome by defeating the Selfishites and the Lustites, slaying the Adulteryites, and staying focused on God and learning from the Bible the proper position on sex.  Sex is important to us today, and sex is important to God.  God made us the way we are.  He designed our bodies for sex.  But He designed our bodies for sex only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.  This is a gift that the man can give to the woman, and the woman can give to the man, upon a marriage commitment one to another.  Sex the way God intended it is a very good thing.  But, sex outside of the way God intended it leads to perversion, disease, an unclean mind, and homosexuality.  We slay the Fornicationites, Uncleannessites, and Homosexualityites by prayer, Bible study, refusing to lust, keeping yourself clean, becoming selfless instead of selfish, and focusing on things of God instead of things of the world.  The world today tells us that homosexuality, for example, is OK.  It is simply an “alternate lifestyle”.  That is wrong; God calls it sin.  In fact, God calls it a sin against your own bodies and a disgusting sin.  Homosexuality is perhaps the end of the road of uncleanness and perversion.  It leads to death spiritually and often death physically.  Those in sexual sin relationships, whether with members of the same or opposite sex, can overcome these sins, can “slay” these enemies, and can be victorious.  It may not be easy, but with God’s help, you can do it.

People are not truthful.  Most had just as soon lie to you than tell you the truth.  Lying is a sin, and the Lyingites must be defeated.  You can do this by telling the truth. 

Drunkenness, whether from booze or drugs, is wrong.  It numbs your mind and your faculties and causes you to engage in other sin.  It opens the path for the devil in your lives.  Slay the enemy Drunkennessites.  Get sober, stay sober, focus on the Word of God, get help from someone prepared to help you, and love yourself.  God tells us to love others as we love ourselves.  But if you don’t love yourself, how do you love others?  You don’t love yourself if you are a drunkard.  So, slay this sin.

The Unkindnessites are everywhere.  People are just not kind to one another.  You may not can stop your neighbor, but you can stop yourself.  Practice being kind.  Practice being nice.  Smile more.  Read your Bible and see all the great promises of God that you can have, and this should make you very happy.  When you are happy, you will be more kind to one another.  When you have overcome the “ites” in your life, you can be more understanding with others trying to overcome the “ites” in their lives.  Be kind.

God today prepares us for victory over the enemy just as He did the Israelites may years ago.  God told them what to do, and those that believed God and did as instructed were victorious and enjoyed the promises of God.  Those that did not listen to God died in the desert.  Today, you have the knowledge to overcome these “ites”, these enemies that steal your victory and success that God wants you to have.  If you listen to God, seek His help, and work very hard to defeat the enemy, you will win.

Start today.  Slay the “ites” in your life.

Is the battle easy?  No.  But the victory is worth it.

God bless.

Greg Quinn