Friday, May 18, 2012

120515 - Deuteronomy 04-05 - Idolatry the Punishment

Tuesday SOAP: For many offenses, God's penalty for that violation is surrender a person to the result of it. In Israel's case, they ended up having to suffer the logical conclusion of their idolatry: enslavement to idolatrous nations. With no rights and no protection from the excesses of pagan empires, they were stripped of everything, forced to bow down to pagan images or be thrown into a fiery furnace, threatened with a lion's den if they prayed to anyone other than the "god-king," and debased in every imaginable way. As idolatrous as the human heart naturally is, at least the crass worship of empty carved images was purged from them in this experience.


S: “When you father children and children's children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, so as to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed. And the LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the LORD will drive you. And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. (Deuteronomy 4:25-28)

O: God warned the Israelites that they would experience destruction, dispersion and slavery to idolatry if they flirted with it in their own land. This is exactly what happened.

A: It really took the experience of full-blown paganism to cure them of their fascination with paganism. Solomon went from tolerating it to actually building places of worship for pagan gods for his wives. (1 Kings 11:7) Is there a parallel here to our own day? I believe the experience of formerly Christian nations in Europe echoes this. Nature abhors a vacuum. Tolerance for any ideology that is itself fundamentally intolerant is undermining what you stand upon. God may one day let Americans have our way, if our country's infatuation with Islam and the New Age continues.

P: Lord, revive your people again, that we may rejoice in you.

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