This chapter is a difficult one for many to swallow. God commanding death is repulsive to many and seen as inconsistent with who God says He is. But this chapter contains the same theme we saw in the book of Genesis and the entire Bible–the story of the Great Lover pursuing His Bride with a passion! Is jealousy, then, inconsistent with God’s character? What if you saw an older man beating up a little girl? Wouldn’t you be stirred to anger? How would you feel if the person to whom you had given everything turned around and gave him/herself to other men or women? Is God incapable of feeling the same emotions we do?
“The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love Him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God and fear Him alone. Obey His commands, listen to his voice, and cling to Him.”
Though we may not like what God is commanding in this chapter, I’d like to suggest that His unconditional love is revealed throughout. Otherwise, the God we love is in fact not Love Himself. God, in His love, sought to protect His people from all the consequences of following after gods of gold and silver who can’t hear, see or speak. This suggestion by false prophets to worship other gods is exactly what Satan is trying to get us to do, be repulsed by our Best Friend. When considering this chapter we must realize that God is King and that the false prophet, as a public enemy and a suborner of treason against the King of Israel, was to be put to death; and so the evil would be put away from among them.
But a greater theme emerges in this chapter. Clinging to God, maintaining a personally intimate relationship with Him that is constantly growing and being nurtured will not allow for one to even be attracted by other gods. What if we fell so deeply in love with Jesus that the only thing we were ever concerned about was being with Him. And as a by-product, so to speak, our love, joy and satisfaction that comes from being with Him would become our constant conversation. Sound familiar? Like when you fall in love and want the whole world to know? 😀
Well, what are you waiting for? Jesus is standing at the door of your heart waiting for you to let Him in!
Clinging to Jesus,
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.