God Punishes Sin!
God of the Bible, I am poised again to read Your Word. I pray for the Spirit’s enlightenment.
Read Deuteronomy 4:15-31
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“We must let God be God in everything…. We must simply let him be God and listen to him for our orders. There can be no other gods” (John Killinger).
God assured the children of Israel that he was going to use them to dispossess all the different tribes who inhabited the land he had promised to their ancestor Abraham. He also made it clear that he was doing so not on account of Israel’s righteousness but because of the wickedness of those nations (Deut. 9:4). Crucially, if they committed the same sins they would receive the same judgment. Moses warned them solemnly, therefore, against all forms of idolatry. They were the chosen race, but chosen on God’s terms which must not be violated; and v. 24 describes God with words that command attention. What is more, Moses cites his own punishment as an example. If God should ever show favoritism, surely it must be to Moses, the man with whom he conversed as with a friend (Exod. 33:11). He was not spared when he did wrong, even on a matter which we might consider to be a minor error of judgment committed under extreme provocation by the people. This was when, instead of speaking to the rock to bring forth water as the Lord commanded, he had struck it with his staff (Num. 20:7-12).
We see ourselves as a people who stand for human rights and democratic ideals in the council of nations, lofty values which derive from our Christian heritage. When we depart from the clear teachings of the word of God, however, we cannot expect God to turn a blind eye to our disobedience. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow” (Gal. 6:7). God holds not only individuals but also entire nations to account.
What are the main idols that are subverting our national life today, and what contribution can you make to combating them?
Father, idols can so easily creep into my life. Not just bad things, but good things can usurp Your place. Help me to seek You as my highest priority.
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