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February 2, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Leviticus 5-7
Audio: Leviticus 5-7

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

Deuteronomy 13 (ESV)

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known,some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

12 “If you hear in one of your cities, which the Lord your God is giving you to dwell there, 13 that certain worthless fellows have gone out among you and have drawn away the inhabitants of their city, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, 14 then you shall inquire and make search and ask diligently. And behold, if it be true and certain that such an abomination has been done among you, 15 you shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword. 16 You shall gather all its spoil into the midst of its open square and burn the city and all its spoil with fire, as a whole burnt offering to the Lord your God. It shall be a heap forever. It shall not be built again. 17 None of the devoted things shall stick to your hand, that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger and show you mercy and have compassion on you and multiply you, as he swore to your fathers, 18 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping all his commandments that I am commanding you today, and doing what is right in the sight of the Lord your God.

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Next: Deuteronomy 14

Back: Deuteronomy 12

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Tests

    When I was in school, I always felt a little anxiety when it was time to take a test. It wasn't so bad when the teacher told you when a test was coming but the dreaded "pop quiz" for me was the worst. I think one of the reasons was that I could cram for a test and store what I believed to be useless information in my short-term memory and get a decent grade; but a pop quiz was a test without warning which revealed how little I was paying attention and how little I really knew.

    Deuteronomy 13:1-3a says, "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you…"

    The Lord is giving His people a "heads up" that they will be tested through false prophets and "dreamers" who say things which will come to pass but then attempt to lead God's people astray to worship and serve false gods.

    Why Does God Test Them? To know whether or not they love the Lord their God with all their heart and with all their soul (Deuteronomy 13:3). Since we're reading today's chapter, this is also a test for us (or more like a pop quiz)!

    Do we REALLY love God with ALL our heart and our soul?

    Are we influenced by ungodly people who have "worldly wisdom" but tempt us to pursue things that take our focus and attention away from God?

    Open Book Tests

    I remember a few times in school when our teacher gave us an "open book test" which allowed us to (drumroll please)…TAKE THE TEST WITH OUR BOOKS OPENED! After the Lord reveals He will test them with a false prophet, He gives them the answers they need to pass the test.

    Deuteronomy 13:4 says, "You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him."

    This is what it looks like to love the Lord with all our heart and soul – we walk after Him, fear Him (in reverence and awe), follow His commands, obey His voice, serve Him and hold fast (cling) to Him.

    Does this reflect how we love God?

    Does God's influence on us (from His Word and His Spirit) draw us into godliness, righteousness and holiness?

    Do you want to pass the test or are you "cutting school" to avoid it?

    Did you forget your book? (Hint: your Bible)?

    Purge the Evil

    Deuteronomy 13:5 says, "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst."

    That powerful phrase "purge the evil from your midst" is also found in Paul's letter to the church in Corinth who was gaining a reputation with people outside the church as being permissive towards sin. They allowed a person to fellowship with them who was guilty of a type of sexual sin even they (on the outside) would not tolerate. 

    1 Corinthians 5:9-13 says, "I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. 'Purge the evil person from among you.'"

    As the false prophet or dreamer was to be put to death, if the Corinthian church was to "pass the test", they had to stop associating with people who "bear the name of brother" (or sister) but who refuse to confess and repent as a true brother or sister in Christ would. They had to be removed (excommunicated) from the church so the person who was living an ungodly life was with those who are ungodly outside the church – not corrupting those in the church and bringing reproach to the Lord Jesus.

    Back when God was establishing Himself in the Old Covenant, there were times when people were excommunicated (or cast out) from among His people. But as was the case with the false prophet, even family members who subtly tried to lead God's people astray were dealt with severely by being put to death. Even the people who were led astray by "worthless fellows" were to be put to death. 

    While this punishment might seem extreme (and certainly not justifiable today in the New Covenant), God is making it clear to His people that leading people astray (and being led astray) was serious enough it was punishable by death. 

    As a foot with gangrene must be amputated to protect the rest of a physical body, drastic measures were taken to protect God's people in the Old Testament (including death). In the New Testament, those who are unrepentant and whose reputation outside the church brings reproach on the entire church (and the Lord Himself) may be cut off (excommunicated) from the church.

    We also do this metaphorically today as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ when we cut off areas of temptation and cut out sin in our lives. And God Himself does this as He prunes the unfruitful parts of our lives so we become fruitful. 

    Jesus said in John 15:1-2, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit."

    Are you experiencing the pruning of God in your life?

    Are you prepared for the tests you will face today?

    Are you preparing for the tests you will face tomorrow?

    James 1:12 says, "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."

    Will you pass the test?
     

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