03/30/2023 DAB Transcript

Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23, Luke 8:40-9:6, Psalms 71:1-24, Proverbs 12:5-7

Today is the 30th day of March welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is wonderful to be here with you today and every day as we gather around the Global Campfire and take the next step forward together in life in this year and in the Scriptures. And, so, our next step forward, as always…always leads us to right where we left off. And, so, that’s where we’re going today and that will lead us back into the book of Deuteronomy and all of the last things that Moses has to say. And today we will read chapters 13, 14 and 15.


Okay. So, in the book of Deuteronomy today we read, “if a prophet or an interpreter of dreams arises among you, and he predicts a sign or wonder for you and the sign or wonder that he promised you comes true” Like I’m putting a dot dot dot right there so we pause for a second. Let’s imagine that that happens. Typically, we might find ourselves compelled to hear more, and maybe even to…to follow this person who has these gifts. And we might begin to follow them because of the gift, or because of the sign without even considering where the road may be leading us to, where the path will go if we…if we do this. But as we will see, blindly following a sign or wonder or a person who claims to be a prophet, and then following them on a path that leads us away from God, that’s not gonna work. And, so, rereading what I just read in its entirety, “f a prophet”, Moses is saying this, “if a prophet or an interpreter of dreams arises among you and he predicts a sign or wonder for you and the sign or wonder that he promised you comes true and then he says let’s go after other gods that you do not know, let’s serve them do not listen to the words of that Prophet or that interpreter of dreams because the Lord your God is testing you to see whether you really love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Follow the Lord your God. Fear Him. Keep His commandments. Listen to His voice. Serve Him and cling to Him.” I mean, Moses goes on to say that, even if it’s a family member that is enticing us toward idolatry then we should be very intentional about getting them out of our lives. That is…like this is a big deal what’s being said here. And, so, if this is such a big deal, then we need to probably understand what idolatry is. We have already seen it in the Scriptures. We will see it throughout the rest of our journey. And, so, it’s important for us to understand what we dealing with here. In the time of Moses in the surrounding cultures and nations around the children of Israel, they…well…they literally made images that they indeed bowed down and worshiped and sacrificed and even sacrificing their children to these statues. They performed all kinds of acts of devotion that God hated as we learned from our reading today. And we should remember back at the mountain of God, right? The golden calf that the children of Israel created and bowed down and worshiped and said this is the god who brought you out of Egypt. This was a normal thing at that time. Like, if an enemy attacked the land or the crops didn’t come in and famine came the peoples of that day believed that the local gods weren’t pleased. And if there was a battle or something then the strongest god was the victorious one. Whoever won the battle, it’s that god that’s more powerful. And we might think that’s weird. That’s odd because that’s not a normal practice for most of us in the world today. Although idol worship still certainly does exist in the world today. But idolatry is more than kind of creating a piece of art and then deifying the piece of art, and believing the…the craftsmanship is a god and worshiping the god. Idolatry is essentially submitting ourselves and offering our heart and offering our hope to a person or a thing with the expectation that that person or thing will give us life, will give us what we want. And, so, if we take a step back and just think about it in those terms it’s not hard to find idolatry, even in a modern western world. An idol can be anything - money, sex, power, stuff, control. You name it. Whatever we turn to and offer ourselves to and place our hope in hoping that this thing will bring us life and that we put our hope in this thing then we have an idol and anything that we offer our hearts devotion to in our allegiance to, our loyalty to, our reverence to and place our hope in that is not God will lead us away from God and toward destruction. And this is why it’s such a big deal. Moses is commanding the people specific to his time, specific to the culture that exists and specific to the culture that is being created, a new culture, a new way of being among the Israelites. And idolatry was a huge piece that needed to be absent from this new culture in this new way being formed in the wilderness. In fact it was such a big deal that it carries the death penalty for the children of Israel, But we don't…we don’t live in nations now likely, none of us live in nations now where somebody would be executed for their religious beliefs, although believe me, it’s in the world today and we all know it. But why is this such a severe threat that it has to carry with it a capital offense in ancient Israel. It’s for all the things we just talked about. There is a newly forming culture, one that is intended and designed to reveal the one most-high God to the rest of the world. If they just deviate and begin to worship the local gods of the region, they’re not revealing the only most-high God. And if this gets into the people it will become cancer in this new culture that is being formed. It would destroy them from within and would make them forget the message of the wilderness, that they are utterly dependent upon God. It would make them forget what they were, it would make them forget how they got where they are, where they came from, and who their source of life actually is. And that gives us pause and opportunity. What are we giving our life to? What have we placed our hope in expecting that that rescue and life is the result? If…if we have things that begin to bubble up and come to mind and they’re not God alone then we may be looking at an idol in our lives and we should pause. We’re not going to get away from idolatry in the Bible. And we’re going to be able to see clearly what the repercussions of idolatry in the Scriptures are. But we already know that anything that will lead us away from God will lead us on the pathway of destruction. We’ll forget who we are. We’ll forget the lessons of the wilderness. We’ll forget our identity. We’ll be seduced into darkness. It was a big deal for God and the children of Israel in the wilderness as they prepared to go into the promised land. It should be a big deal to us as well.


Holy Spirit, we invite you into that. It’s unlikely any of us are gonna bow our knee to a statue of some sort today but we are seduced into all kinds of things that promise us relief and release and life and happiness and when we have placed our hope in those things and you have not led us to follow that path then we are willfully walking away from you watching the blinking lights. But behind all that we’ll find ourselves in the darkness once again. So, Holy Spirit come. What are the things that we are elevating in our lives and putting our faith and hope and trust in that are not you. Reveal these things to us we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.


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