Too often we walk around like we are chess pieces and God will move us where He wants, so we just live how we want to. BUT Deuteronomy 11 is very clear that we have choices to make that may determine His chess move.
13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then…
But he knows us soooo well…we will love “things of the world more”
16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will…
So He tells us again!
22 If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him and to hold fast to him— 23 then the Lord will
So the ball is in our court….
26 See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.
Back to the Israelites! They are about to enter the Promised Land:
31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.
Chapter 12: What is idolatry? In the Bible, it is anything that replaces the one, true God. The most prevalent form of idolatry was the worship of images that were thought to embody the various pagan deities. In reality, idols were blocks of stone or wood, and their power exists only in the minds of the worshipers. Israelites were forbidden to intermarry with other cultures who embraced false gods because God knew this would lead to compromise.
2 Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.
The people possessing the land (Canaanites) would go to the High Places to worship their gods.
3 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
An Asherah pole was a sacred tree or pole that stood near the High Places to honor the pagan goddess Asherah, also known as Astarte.
.Sometimes they made images of her too.
If you missed it, please go back and read Chapter 12. God will choose the Holy City. Go back and underline-the place the Lord your God will choose.
When they enter the Promised Land, the land will be distributed between the 12 tribes. The place the Lord will choose will be on the border of Benjamin and Judah. Spoiler alert (something to look forward to). The tribes are going to have a civil war against each other and split 10 tribes against 2 tribes. The 2 tribes that merge are Benjamin and Judah keeping the Holy City: Holy. Trivia: What is the name of the city the Lord will choose?
OK, flag on the field. The Lord does not mince words about HIs feelings regarding idolatry!
31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
32 See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.
Hate is a strong word!
Will the Lord let us be tested by the things of the world? Who/what do you love more?
13:3 The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Again…I have a lot of thinking to do today!