Recently, I took a reading journey through the Book of Deuteronomy. I hadn’t been in that section of the Bible for a while and I discovered how sensible God’s commands were. I realized Deuteronomy made more sense to me today than it had in the past. I’m not sure why that would be, but as I finished reading the Book of Deuteronomy I thought to myself that it is a good lesson in how to live life.
The bottom line is quite simple … God said that He would prosper Israel if they stayed true to Him and follow His commands. His commands would protect them against the enemies that would destroy them:
Deuteronomy 5:29 Oh, that they would always have hearts like this, that they might fear me and obey all my commands! If they did, they and their descendants would prosper forever.
Enemy Number One
God knew that the culture around Israel would eventually permeate them and soon they would be following the gods of the culture around them:
Deuteronomy 6 14You must not worship any of the gods of neighboring nations, 15for the Lord your God, who lives among you, is a jealous God. His anger will flare up against you, and he will wipe you from the face of the earth.
Moses repeatedly reminded Israel that the culture would turn their families against God in favor of what they saw around them:
Deuteronomy 7:4 For they will lead your children away from me to worship other gods.
Enemy Number Two
The other enemy that is repeatedly talked about is the enemy found in your own heart. The pride that takes over and decides God is no longer important because your arrogance has the right ideas and direction. When pride or narcissism consumes a person, they become a god and the real God is forgotten:
Deuteronomy 8:14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.
Deuteronomy 8 17He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ 18Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.
Enemy Number Three
The worship of false gods and idols. God reminded Israel that if they worshipped other gods they would perish:
Deuteronomy 8 19But I assure you of this: If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, worshiping and bowing down to them, you will certainly be destroyed. 20Just as the Lord has destroyed other nations in your path, you also will be destroyed if you refuse to obey the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 12:2 When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods—high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree.
Enemy Number Four
This enemy seemed so relevant to me in light of society today. God wanted Israel to purge the evil from the land. It first started by getting rid of the false prophets who were the promoters of ungodly ideas. Those who were spreading falsehoods were to be taken into custody and killed. The idea was that evil would not be tolerated anywhere in their society. Evil wasn’t given a foothold to practice deception and promote its lies:
Deuteronomy 13:3 You must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 13:11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
Deuteronomy 17:12 Anyone who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the Lord your God is to be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
Enemy Number Five
This enemy is the lifestyle that ignores God and lives in the world of the curse. Most people today probably don’t think about curses very much, but behavior matters to God. When you practice any behavior that is self-serving or self-centered, it is a behavior that is cursed by God. It is the behavior Moses mentions in Deuteronomy 27: 15-26 and Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
I won't write all those verses out, but when you read them be aware of how the behavior mentioned is a cursed behavior by God. This enemy of lifestyle is a pervasive way many people live their lives today. They don't see that the consequence of behavior is a curse and that living this way will only destroy their life.
It’s important to point out that my reading journey in the Book of Deuteronomy was very practical and based on a simple worldview according to God’s standards:
· Don’t worship the culture
· Don’t live in pride and arrogance forgetting God
· Don’t worship idols
· Don’t let evil control your life
· Don’t live a cursed lifestyle
When you look at these five enemies, ask yourself if America lives in these five. It is amazing that America has lasted as long as it has. I saw a sign the other day that read, “Some of us are Trans. Get over it.” I don’t have to get over it, but the task of those who agree with it will have to figure out what it means to ‘get over it’ when they must explain it to God one day.
I have said it a thousand times if I said it once … one day you will have to face an audience of One and it will be at that point that no one will be able to ‘get over it.’ When God asks you to explain how these five enemies controlled your life, what will you say?
If the mercy and grace of Jesus are not in your life now, it is time to accept Him and live for Him now … because one day it will be too late. King Solomon simplified life by saying, “Fear and Obey God." It's a great tagline.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler