Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Isaiah 40:31
Read the “0305 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 12:1-4)
One the greatest gifts given by God to the Jews, at this time, was the Promised Land. In acceptance of this gift, God had a few stipulations; one of which being removing the high places where the previous owners of the land used to worship their idols. In doing so, the Israelites had a better chance of:
1 – focusing on true worship, and
2 – not getting tempted to follow after the false gods of their enemies. I liken this to Ephesians 4:22-24 where we as believers are commanded to put off the old man:
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Our Promised Land is Heaven and our gift salvation. Upon accepting the gift of salvation we become His; at which point we are to destroy the old man and follow Him. Why are we to destroy the old man? Just like with the Israelites, we must destroy the altars of the previous owners (self) in order to, in turn, truly and wholly worship God, and to remove the temptation of following after our sinful lusts – the flesh. Just as when God gave the Israelites the Promised Land, he expects obedience and true worship out of a grateful heart.
Now, we know the rest of the story. It was manageable for the Israelites to tear down the altars when they first reached the Promised Land. They were thrilled to finally be in the place the Lord had promised them, and would do practically anything out of relief for not having to walk through the wilderness another day. Yet that excitement soon wore off and they and their desired rulers became complacent and forgot where God brought them from. At salvation the majority of people are geared up and excited to tear down the altars of self and wholly surrender to God, but eventually one becomes complacent about removing those high places that were once taken down. The enemy (the flesh) is allowed back in and worshipped in place of the Giver of Salvation.
Have we as Christians utterly destroyed all the places where the previous owner worshiped- self, the flesh, lust? Are we continuing to wholly worship the one true God, or are we piece by piece putting back together the high places because we have forgotten the gift of the Promised Land?
Posted in Devotions by Chaniece Clark with 3 comments.