Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Deuteronomy 13. Serious warnings.

This is a hard chapter. It ends in a familiar way:
"Obediently listen to God, your God. Keep all his commands that I am giving you today. Do the right thing in the eyes of God, your God."

But oh - what comes before. The chapter is full of what must be done by faithful people to the faithless who do not "...follow only God, your God, hold him in deep reverence, keep his commandments, listen obediently to what he says, serve(in him—hold on to him for dear life."

So what was the consequence if they did not do that? Death. 

I'm following this Bible study on First Five and, not surprisingly, there is little comment about the awfulness of the punishment for those who stray into idolatry.  But what there is, is encouragement to hold fast to God and His teachings.

The dire punishments remind us how seriously God takes holiness, His command that we set ourselves apart to follow him in everything.

So "God wants us to know that there are people and things that look good, sound good and even are good that can distract us and even turn our hearts away from the Lord."

We can protect ourselves by reading God's word for ourselves, filling our hearts with truth,  seeking to continually live obedient lives and praying for guidance, sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Some test questions: does this honour God? Is the focus on Jesus? Is he glorified? Does this line up with Scripture and the counsel of God? Will this lead me closer to God or away from Him?

Moses reminds the people of the past and how they were slaves in Egypt. We do well to remember how easy it is for us to be enslaved by sin and wrong thinking and how dire the consequences are. 

Yet, we do not live in fear. Because of Jesus. Back to Romans.

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