Total Elimination

Today’s reading:  Deuteronomy 19-22, Psalm 6, Luke 10

During the month of January, B.J. and I decided to start the new year with better eating habits by following the Whole 30 diet (  On this diet, you can have whole foods – meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, natural fats, herbs, spices, and seasonings.  Sound easy?  Here’s the hard part.  You can have nothing processed, therefore you must totally eliminate:

  • Added sugar, real or artificial
  • Alcohol in any form
  • Grains
  • Legumes (beans, peanuts, soy)
  • Dairy
  • Carrageenan or sulfites
  • Baked goods,”treats”, or junk food even if made with approved ingredients

This diet is designed to change your habits.  It requires 100% compliance for 30 days.  No cheating, no days off.   To be successful, you have to totally eliminate all processed, unapproved foods from your kitchen.  Why?  When you are starving and don’t have time or energy to fix a healthy meal or snack, you will make poor choices and fill your belly with bad things.  It is just human nature.

Over the past several days we’ve been reading through the book of Deuteronomy.  This book is kind of like the Cliff Notes version of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers because it is Moses re-teaching God’s law to the second generation of God’s people before they entered The Promised Land.    Deuteronomy chapter 20 was God’s guidance for how his people were to take over the land he had promised to their ancestors.

…in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you (Deuteronomy 20:16-17).

Wait, is this true?  Was a loving merciful God really directing his people to eliminate everyone and everything?  Why?

Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 20:18).

It was true.  God was serious about sin.  He knew that anything less than total elimination of the existing pagan culture was a temptation for his people to let themselves be pulled away from God and into idol worship.   It is just human nature.

God’s expectations for us in the 21st century are the same.  You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind (Matthew 33:37).  The word “all” makes it clear he expects 100% compliance.  Not for 30 days, but forever.  He also knows our sinful, human nature makes this unachievable.  Fortunately he loved us enough to send a savior.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (John 3:16-17).