It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him . - Deuteronomy 13:4
Deuteronomy is a book of promises and warnings. The Ten Commandments are repeated in Deuteronomy as well as instructions about loving God and our neighbor. Also there is warning about listening to those who would claim to be a prophet but who preach another god.
Our verse today is taken from a passage that is warning about false prophets who would lead Israel to follow other gods. Israel is warned that they are to follow the Lord God and him alone. They are admonished to obey the commands of God and to “hold fast to him.”
We are faced with the same challenges today as Israel faced thousands of years ago. There are still people trying to convince us that our way of life and faith is outdated and that there is a new and better way to live. We are encouraged to abandon the restrictions of an oppressive religion and be free to express ourselves.
Unfortunately, Israel was not faithful to follow the Lord and him alone. Their history records many times that as a nation they turned to serving other gods. The gods they invented to follow allowed and promoted lifestyles that were contradictory to what the Lord had commanded.
Things aren’t much different today than it was then. Many in the church have traded the commands of the Lord for license to live as they choose without restriction because, after all, we are under grace now.
The Lord knew how difficult it would be to hold on to him in the face of the temptations we would have and that is why he said to “hold fast to him.” The Hebrew word translated “hold fast” is daw-bak. It means to pursue hard and be joined to. Being faithful to God in this time of compromise and easy living is not easy but we must pursue him hard and be joined with him,.
Prayer: Lord, It isn’t easy serving when the world calls so me to follow the way of folly. Grant me grace to be faithful to you. In Jesus name, amen.
Principle: Being faithful to God in this time of compromise and easy living is not easy but we must pursue him hard and be joined with him,.
Affirmation:. I choose not to listen to the voices of the world which call me away from being a faithful servant of the Lord.
Reflection: It would be good to reflect upon what is so attractive about the voice of the "false prophets" of this world who proclaim the value of pursuing your own destiny over trusting the tried and true word of God. How are we to resist such appealing voices?
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