Scripture: Deuteronomy 13:6 If anyone secretly entices you—even if it is your brother, your father’s son or your mother’s son, or your own son or daughter, or the wife you embrace, or your most intimate friend—saying, “Let us go worship other gods,” whom neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 any of the gods of the peoples that are around you, whether near you or far away from you, from one end of the earth to the other, 8 you must not yield to or heed any such persons. Show them no pity or compassion and do not shield them. 9 But you shall surely kill them; your own hand shall be first against them to execute them, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
Observation: Again, Moses is relaying God’s message to the people as they prepare to enter the Promised Land. The law here is severe. Those who tempt their fellow Israelites away from God the Father are to be put to death with no mercy. Period. Dang!
Application: Thankfully, we are no longer under the “covenant of the law” which Moses is describing in Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. So, we no longer have to kill our relatives should they tempt us away from the Lord. Thank goodness! However, as is true for much of the law given in the Old Testament, the law is to our benefit (well, not the killing part) even if keeping it no longer determines our place before God. Why?
Because we are constantly being tempted away from the Lord. We may not be tempted to follow others gods, as was true in Moses’ day. However, in an increasingly secular culture, we’re surely tempted to follow no God at all. Studies show that the fastest growing religious category in the US is “none”. I’m reminded of lyrics from John Lennon’s famous song “Imagine”:
“Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people, living for today… Aha-ah…”
It must be incredibly difficult to go through life thinking there is no God, that the only resources available are of this world. The journey of life is too complicated, the way too uncertain, to depend on one’s own wit and smarts to get by.
Truth: There is nothing in life that is too big for our heavenly Father to handle. There are MANY things you and I cannot handle.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness to your children. Give us grace to hold fast to you in a world that draws us away from you. Amen.