TESTING THE PEOPLE
"For the LORD your God is testing you..." Deuteronomy 13:3
The modern day church's battle with idolatry mirrors that of ancient Israel. The similarities are uncanny. While our church's may not be setting up Asherah poles in the middle of sanctuaries, our idolatry shares similarities to ancient Israel in a way that is striking. I want to clarify that I am not talking about replacement theology here. That would be the belief that the church replaces Israel in the covenants that God has made. Replacement theology is heresy, pure and simple. God made covenants with Israel that He will keep. (And we should be praying for the peace of Israel.) That said, we can see so many issues in the Old Testament that we are dealing with our lives today.
In Deuteronomy 12 and 13, God tells His people to not follow the gods of their neighbors. He even tells them in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 "If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder that he tells you come 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 our God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul." Israel's neighbors chief way of worshiping their gods was to sacrifice their children.
This is true today, but in a different way. We are so busy and self-focused that our children pay the price because of the lack of attention. We can get over involved at church to the detriment of our families. (The opposite can be true as well. Not being involved at all is also bad for our families.) If the people at our church (even though we are not a church employee) see us more than our children, we have a problem.Pressure and false guilt from church members and staff often cause us to become too involved but this can be a test for us to show our true priorities. Let's pass these tests by abiding in Christ so we can see these situations clearly.
Dear Heavenly Father, I need the wisdom You gave Solomon to know how to live. The people in my life are at risk if I'm not discerning. Give me Your eyes for every situation and help me to stand strong in the face of trials. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen