Read Deuteronomy 12 – Wasn’t that a lovely break we took in Psalm 40 when I last wrote? May you always be mindful of when your heart needs to pause from the ‘should’s’ of life. The Lord truly cares about your heart above all else. Okay, shall we get back on course with our chapter?
The Israelites are given some preparation instructions for worship. Step one is to clean house (:2-3). The Lord commands that all the places of worship created by the previous inhabitants be utterly destroyed. He is protecting them from being led astray.
The Lord assures them that He will select the place where they are to offer sacrifices, and grants permission for them to kill and eat as needed apart from an act of worship. This is a freedom, a liberty the Lord is expressly granting them, with the only warning to ensure there is no blood (:15,16,20-25).
They are commanded to provide for the Levite; that is the tribe set aside as priests. (:12,18-19).
Our chapter ends like it began, instructing the Israelites to: “take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? – that I also may do the same.’ “ :30 The Lord HATES the abominable things these nations did to serve their gods. They even burned their children alive as human sacrifices to their gods. (:31)
I pray you do not get lost in these instructions to the Israelites about things that may seem far removed from Christian life today. Blood sacrifices are no longer required as Jesus shed his blood as our once and for all sacrifice. And we are still not to dabble in occult practices, even under the guise of curiosity, lest we be led astray. Remember, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 He desires a life of joyful worship from us, as he did for our ancient brothers and sisters. “And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake.” 18b.