Daily Word

Deuteronomy 13

Read Deuteronomy 13 – “Some people are so open-minded their brains fall out.” I don’t recall who said that, but it has certainly rung true to me. Our chapter deals quite seriously with those who lead others astray under the guise of open-mindedness.
The LORD allows testing in some cases to see if one’s heart is true (:3). The Israelites were called to be discerning with regards to prophets and visionaries, and put to death any who encourage rebellion against the LORD (:5). Likewise, we must remain discerning. There will be imitators. They will produce signs and wonders, but the heart of their message will not be Jesus.
We had an old friend over for Easter supper a few years back. He was dating someone new and we all sat down for the meal. After grace, the girlfriend steered the conversation towards new age experimentation. Soon we realized she was only speaking to our teenager, right there at the Easter dinner table! It was a bizarre moment and one we cut short. In the days that followed, this couple made attempts through social media to continue enticing away from the LORD and we cut all ties. “Suppose someone secretly entices you…and says, ‘Let us go worship other gods’ – gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known.” :6 The LORD knows evil people are sly. They know how to tap into FOMO… fear of missing out, as the kids say. Be on guard and ready to walk away.
Verses :12-17 speak about the towns the Israelites will occupy in the land the Lord is giving them. He says if they get reports of scoundrels leading fellow citizens astray they are to carefully examine the facts. If they discover them to be true, the entire town is to be destroyed – all people, animals and things – no plunder is to be taken, but piled up and burned in the middle of the open square. One commentary I read said this was a protection against false accusations for profit… Does God know how easy it is to get us off course or what?
Remember, this passage is specific to the Israelites as they were establishing the Promised Land, so don’t go killing anyone. Yet, I think you’ll find great and serious instruction to help you guard your own heart, to know when to walk away from temptations that would take you away from Jesus.

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 12

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.