Friday, December 15, 2017

No Idols, No Substitutes – The Kingdom Curriculum VI (5)

Friday, July 24, 2009, 0:01
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No Idols, No Substitutes

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” Exodus 20:4; Deuteronomy 5:8

“When My angel goes before you and brings to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces…You shall make no covenant with them and their gods…They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me…” Exodus 23:23, 24, 32, 33

There’s nothing harmless about pagan ways.

God was determined that Israel should worship and serve Him only according to the forms and protocols He Himself had provided them. They were to come to Him through the priests, by means of the sacrifices and offerings, with songs of praise and thanksgiving, at appointed times and places, using language God Himself had provided in His Word.

Everything about the way God commanded Israel to worship Him was designed to dramatize both His utter holiness and majesty and His absolute love for His people. The people of Israel could never have invented in a million years a system for worshiping God that accomplished as much in the way of exalting Him and exonerating and renewing them as He Himself gave them through Moses. To add to that system from the pagan practices of vanquished peoples would have been to corrupt the beauty of God’s worship. It would have meant that Israel was guilty of sinning against God. And it would have been certain to lead to more compromises and sins in every area of life.

So those pagan practices may have seemed harmless; certainly they were alluring, and they may even have been considered legitimate and useful in worshiping God; but God would have none of it. Then, or now.

In our day, when our worship is made acceptable to God through Jesus, and our service is always in His Name as His ambassadors, we must be more careful to seek out God’s plan for worshiping and serving Him, lest we substitute for what is holy and righteous and good what is nothing more than our own best ideas. In the end, they will hurt us.

The way to begin to love God’s Law is to spend time reading and meditating on it. Order your copy of The Law of God today by going to www.MyParuchia.com, clicking on Publications, then clicking Waxed Tablet.

In the Gates is a devotional series on the Law of God by Rev. T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is 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.

Editor’s note: The use of a translation other than the Authorised Version in an article does not constitute an endorsement in whole or in part by The Christian Observer.

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