I’ve been struggling with what to write for this, my first post of 2018.
And then it came to me.
No. Really. I mean it.
I recently finished reading Deuteronomy. Actually reading it. Not glancing at the names and glossing over the Hebrew law stuff. I absorbed its message for the first time in my life.
Near the end of the book God commissions Joshua to go into the Promised Land. At the same time God give Moses a song. Moses knows he’s messed up a fair bit and he’s not going into the land of Canaan. He only gets a glimpse of the land promised to his people from a far off mountain top.
And God gives him a song. A song he is to teach to the people of Israel. A song which they will sing throughout the ages.
It isn’t a happy song.
It’s a song about the inevitable failure of the Israelites. Yep, God knew they were going to mess up. Big time. Again and again. He knew they were a sinful people and that the gods of other lands would lure them away from Himself, the One True God. He knew it and gave a song to Moses to remind them of this when the inevitable awfulness happened.
No Other Gods.
The Israelites would forget, over and over, the first commandment. No other gods. And in their forgetfulness they would suffer losses in war. Slavery. Being carried off into foreign lands. Yes, the wrath of God fell on them. And the protection of God was removed from them as the bible and history records.
I wonder about this.
What “gods” have I bowed down to? What are your idols? Not worship to other religions, no. But what about other “gods?”
Comfort? Entertainment? Marriage? Money? Coffee? Sex? Status? Power? Dreams of another life?
What if those gods are removing the protection of the One True God from your life? Does it work that way?
Even if it doesn’t, idolatry, in all its forms keeps so much good away from us. And in our worship of lesser gods we forget to make space for God to move in our lives.
He is longing for our undivided attention. He has commanded this from the very beginning.
He must be enough. Only ever enough.
Perhaps that can be our desire for 2018. No other gods. Not a simple task, I realize. But a worthy goal.
Blessings to you all in 2018! I pray love and joy and grace be with you throughout this year.