See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
The past two days, we have studied the first half of Moses’ 2nd speech to the people. It began in Chapter 5 and has been a general plea for obedience… He winds down this part of his speech at the end of chapter 11 and begins a more specific point-by-point review of the law in Chapter 12…
Moses uses the 10 commandments to structure this review of the law. He introduces Chapter 12 by instructing the people how to worship (1st commandment: you shall have no other gods before me). And by the end of chapter 12, he is pleading passionately for the people not to chase after idols (2nd commandment) and to honor the Lord (3rd commandment). The directions given to purge the nation of idolatry seem extreme, but the harsh consequences for idolatry highlight the severity of the offense.
Idolatry exists today. We might not worship carved images but that doesn’t mean we don’t chase after other gods…. comfort, success, security, love… pick your poison. We all have idols. We need to heed Moses’ warning and consider the seriousness of our wandering eyes.
But don’t think you can root out the idols of your heart by sheer will! Even recognizing your idols is a work of the Spirit, so how much more should we depend on the Spirit to help us overcome the idols of our hearts!!
Jesus exhorts his disciples in Mark 13 that faithfulness is a mark of a true believer (vs. 13). It’s tough to be faithful while we’re chasing after other gods…
Oh Lord, forgive my adulterous heart. Help me look to you alone for joy and satisfaction in this life. Show me where I depend on other ‘gods’ to fulfill me and help put them to death in my heart. I can’t do this alone. Please God, help me to persevere… Please, help me be faithful.