Scripture Read: Deuteronomy 3 - 4
Title: The LORD is Merciful & Jealous
(H) Highlight verse: "For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave your or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them" Deut. 4:31
(E) Explain: Moses continues to remind Israel of God's faithfulness and mercy. In chapter 4 he spends a good part of his speech on Israel's call to obedience to God and His commandments. One specific command is for Israel to worship God alone. They are not to make idols or worship false gods. He tells Israel that God alone deserves the credit for setting them free from the bondage of Egypt. Moses declares that the LORD is a consuming fire and a jealous God. He also lets them know that He is a merciful God, that when they face tribulation He will be with them, He will not leave or destroy them.
(A) Application: An idol is anything that we place above God. I would assume idolatry looks much different in 2018 than it did in the Old Testament times. In modern society we do not necessarily see people making carved images or statues for worship, but we do see people bowing down to the gods of power, money, sex, possessions and a plethora of other things. Idolatry has a more subtle look to it today than it did in the time of Moses in the wilderness. However, sometimes our idolatry has an even more innocent face as we
can place people, churches, religion and good works on the altar of worship.
In his book THE GREAT DIVORCE, C.S. Lewis writes about a fictional character named Pam who refuses to join the a couple of characters in Heaven because of her professed love for Michael, her child. Her love for her son was so great that she refused to leave him and enter into the presence of the LORD. In this particular example, her son became her idol. Idols don't necessarily have to be "bad things" they can be good things as well. Remember, whatever you place higher than God in your life, no matter if it is good or bad, it's still an idol and God will not take the back seat to anything or anyone.
(R) Respond: Search my heart God, help me to recognize those things in my life that I prioritize over you. Help me to acknowledge my false idols and turn them over to you, so that you are the only one that I worship and commit my life to.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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