A Devotional Journey
led by Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
After instructing the Israelites to destroy all remnants of pagan religion
within the boundaries of the land they are conquering, God makes clear that He is to be worshiped in the place of His choosing not theirs. He promises to cut off and destroy in advance
, the nations about to be invaded by His People, but warns them that they must follow Him alone, no matter how appealing or convincing are the arguments for turning to other gods (even if they come from members of their own families).
There is a restatement of key laws
which must be observed, both the dietary
laws (which protect the people), and the religious
requirement to bring the tithes each year to the place God chooses as a sanctuary or center of worship (which symbolizes God's importance and thereby serves to protect it). Additionally, provision is made for those in need, whether part of the Israelite community or not.
Every seven years all debts are to be canceled within the community
(foreigners are not included). Knowing this, however, the people are still to be generous in loaning money to their fellow Israelites who may have come upon hard times. They are to give generously ...without a grudging heart.
(15:10). The same cancellation applies to fellow Hebrew who sell themselves
into slavery to pay off their debts: in the seventh year they are to be set free (yet if they wish to remain and it is agreeable to their current master, they may enlist in his service for life).
Another reminder of the importance of celebrating Passover
is included along with the Feast of Weeks (later known as Pentecost
), and the Feast of Tabernacles (the seven days after harvest). The subsequent instruction to appoint judges and officials for each of [the]...tribes...
may be a reminder of the importance of following God's instructions and the human component in insisting on compliance.
God is very serious about His place in our lives.
There is to be nothing allowed which rivals or diminishes His importance. For the Israelites that meant the elimination of religious idols; for us it means more: a reconsideration of the importance we place on money, status, career advancement, social prominence, even religious position. Any of these can be as detrimental to our relationship with God as were the idols of Moses' day.
What is most important to you:
God=s importance and direction in your life, or anything else? What can you do this week to remind yourself that God is #1 and there is no other? Write on the front of a card, "I will honor God in everything I do."
On the back write,
"I will do nothing that takes away from God=s importance in my life."
Then pray that God will speak to you through the words on that card
, and look at that card from time to time. You may be surprised at how many times the thought goes through you mind to read the card at precisely the moment you need to!
A. Eugene Pearso