5 Minute Read


Leviticus 16:29–18:30
Mark 7:24–8:10
Psalm 41:1-13
Proverbs 10:15-16


Leviticus 18:25 (CSB): “The land has become defiled, so I am punishing it for its iniquity, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.”


Well, how’s that for a Verse of the Day?

As we will soon be making our way through Deuteronomy and enter the book of Joshua, God makes it very clear that everything(!) and everyone(!) is to be wiped out as the Israelites took the land of Canaan. When the Israelites attacked a city, they were to kill the men, the women, and the children.

How can such massive bloodshed be justified? Leviticus 18 sheds a little light on this very difficult question.

When we read through Leviticus 18, we realize that God begins by saying that they, the Israelites, were not to participate in the debauched activity of the Egyptians (the land from which they came) or the Canaanites (the land to which they were going). As we read the list of prohibitions, it’s pretty graphic.

  • Sexual sins were elaborated upon and prohibited. Everything from incest, to sex with a mom and daughter, to sex with an animal, to homosexuality, … all of this and more was absolutely prohibited.
  • Sacrificing ones child(ren) in the fire to the god of Molech was absolutely prohibited.

Basically, God through Moses was telling the Israelites that they belonged to Him so they needed to listen and obey. They also needed to realize that every single one of God’s commands was for the individual Isaelites’ good and for God’s glory.

After giving the long list of incredibly sinful activities that were prohibited, the Lord said:

Leviticus 18:24-25 (CSB): “Do not defile yourselves by any of these practices, for the nations I am driving out before you have defiled themselves by all these things. The land has become defiled, so I am punishing it for its iniquity, and the land will vomit out its inhabitants.”

God, through Moses, told the Israelites that the inhabitants of Canaan had done everything on the list of prohibitions. They had engaged in sex with animals. They had killed their own children by sacrificing them to the god of Moloch. They had committed incest, adultery, and homosexuality. So, God was going to drive them out of the land.

In fact, God literally said: “the land will vomit out its inhabitants.”

The Canaanite’s activity was so depraved, so sickening, that the land would expel them just like our bodies get nauseous and then throw up whatever is in our stomachs.

So, when the Israelites were wiping out the land, killing everyone in their path, they were not being some rogue, wicked nation committing genocide. They were God’s chosen people doing exactly what He told them to do. It was not a hostile takeover of the Promised Land so much as it was God’s divine judgment upon a people that were morally depraved in every sense of the word.

Friend, the God we serve isn’t to be trifled with. Sure, He is love but New Testament Christians often forget about how utterly holy God is. They forget about how seriously God takes sin. They forget about how God administered harsh justice upon the guilty.

I wonder, have they read the “woes” that Jesus pronounced upon some cities in the first century (Matthew 11:20-24)? Have they not read the book of Revelation? Have they not read about the Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11) and the Great White Throne Judgment (Romans 20:11-15)?

Friend, the same God that told the Israelites to wipe out the sinful inhabitants of the Promised Land is the same God who is observing us and will one day judge us. If you are saved, then Jesus took your punishment for you. But, that doesn’t change the fact that He still despises sin and our sinful activities.

So, pursue holiness! Don’t settle for knowing that you are going to Heaven. Act like a citizen of Heaven.

And then tell others about Jesus and how they can be made right in God’s eyes so that they will not experience His fierce, holy justice.

2 Corinthians 5:11 (CSB): “Therefore, since we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people…”