Today’s Passage – Deuteronomy 12 – 14
Scripture Memorization for March – Psalm 1
Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Deuteronomy 32:4
“If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.” – (Deuteronomy 13:6-11)
You will notice from the passage above that God was very serious about this matter of separation. He didn’t want any hint of the false gods of the heathen inhabitants of the land of Canaan to enter into the lives of the people of Israel. God was so adamant about this that He demanded the death penalty for anyone (even a close friend or family member) that attempted to lure an Israelite into worshipping other gods. It goes on to say later on in the chapter that whole cities should be completely destroyed if the people of that city begin to worship Belial. They weren’t allowed to take any of the spoil from these cities: everything and everybody was to be destroyed. I will reiterate: God is very serious about separation.
Separation was not just a doctrine for the Old Testament Jew, either. God expects the New Testament Christian to be separated from sin and the world, unto the gospel (Romans 1). Consider the following verses:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – (Romans 12:2)
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – (1 John 2:15-17)
In these latter days, separation has almost become extinct. Even Christians who believe in separation are not really very separated. If we were to be completely truthful, we would have to admit that this world of pleasure and possessions has cast quite a spell upon the church. I believe the only way to break the spell is to intentionally limit the influencing media that the world uses to pull us in, and then draw closer to the Truth of God’s Word. Some day, very soon, the Lord will come and take those who belong to Him home to Heaven. Nothing from this world will matter to us then. We might as well get used to eternity now. Let us draw closer to the Lord, and let all of the ungodly distractions of this world to be moved far away from our lives.
By the way. I am not suggesting isolation. There is a vast difference between isolation and separation. Jesus said that we are to “in” the world, just not “of” the world. God loves the people of this world, and wants us to influence them and reach them with the gospel of Christ. He just doesn’t want us to get caught up at all in the sinful pleasures of this world system, or too caught up in amoral things (things that are not necessarily wrong, but may be weights) that are not eternal.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” – (Colossians 3:1)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – (Philippians 4:8)
There are a lot of beautiful things, people, and places on this earth that are not wrong for us to be around; but there is also a lot of evil out there; a lot of distractions, and God wants us to be separated from them, so that we will be able to see Him clearly, and do His will more effectively. Christians are to be different from the rest of the world out there because we are supposed to be shining the light of the gospel to them. Our lights have become very dim as the world has gotten darker, when we really should be shining more brightly than ever before. Just a thought.
Posted in Thoughts from Deuteronomy by Phil Erickson with no comments yet.