Peace family, how serious are we about the things that entice us away from God?
I’ve been reading through Deuteronomy, and was struck in a new way by something that is pretty common knowledge. In Deuteronomy 13, as the Israelites prepare to go into the promised land, Moses instructs them to put to death false prophets who lead the people away from God. Most of us who were raised in the church know that the punishment for being a false prophet was to be put to death. However, the part that I had never really paid attention to before, is when Moses also goes as far as to say, “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him, but you shall surely kill him…” (Deuteronomy 13:6-9)
Peace family, obviously we do not literally kill people today for attempting to entice us away from God (after all, don’t we all sometimes entice others and our own selves away from him, in one way or another?), but we can definitely learn something from this zero tolerance policy towards things that entice us away from God and obedience to him. It makes me ask myself: Are there activities in my life that I need to “put to death”? What about certain kinds of entertainment? Do I harbor behaviors or relationships that entice me away from God? Or are there ambitions, aspirations, or even fears that lead me away from him, which I need to root out of my life? What idols do I have? It’s time to throw them out.
As Christians, God’s grace is a huge part of our lives, but we need to remember the holiness of God. When we cut out the garbage that draws us away from him, we feel better. We have more energy to dwell in his presence when we aren’t having to mentally stave off everything that would divert our attention away from him. Many times in our culture, we laugh and shrug about things that entice us away from God. Instead, let’s you and me both get serious, today, and honor God with our love and obedience.