Concerning Pagan Worship
The Second Commandment
God made known to Israel how they were to worship Him.
“When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”
The Lord sternly admonished His people against becoming curious about pagan worship practices, especially as these might seem to hold some benefit or promise for informing the worship of the living God.
I don’t think these verses prohibit an informed awareness of pagan practices. Rather, I think they are intended to put a hedge around the hearts of God’s people, lest they allow their fancies and imaginations to bring corruption into the worship of God.
God made known to Israel how they were to worship Him. They could learn nothing from the pagans but what would corrupt their community and profane the Name of God.
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In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore, editor of the Worldview Church. He serves as dean of the Centurions Program of the Wilberforce Forum and principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He is the author or editor of twenty books, and has contributed chapters to four others. His essays, reviews, articles, papers, and poetry have appeared in dozens of national and international journals, and on a wide range of websites. His most recent books are The Ailbe Psalter and The Ground for Christian Ethics (Waxed Tablet).
Scripture quotations in this article are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (c) copyright 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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