January 14, 2008


Deuteronomy 13:12-18

If you hear ... people ... saying, "Let us worship other gods ..."
Deuteronomy 13:12-13


What do you think of people who tempt children to do with their minds and bodies whatever pleases them? What do you think of the coworker who entices your spouse to be unfaithful? How would you respond if it happened to you?

Because God is more jealous of his people than we are of our children, or spouse, or even our self, he's serious about those who come between him and us. People who tempt God's children to wander from him, says Moses to Israel, are worthy of death.

Why such harsh words? Because the ancient enemy has servants everywhere, seeking to annihilate the good and true. Above all, they want to undermine our faithfulness to God. It's hard enough to keep our own sinful desires in check. It's even harder to train ourselves to recognize wicked people who argue, "Take a break from your faithfulness to God. He'll understand. Sometimes you just have to be yourself."

Being your true self, however, is to love God above all. So, if someone is enticing you away from God, or you know someone who's weakening under pressure to be unfaithful to God, destroy the tempter. How? Not with force, but with prayer. It's the most powerful weapon of God. Pray for those who persecute you and lead believers astray, that their hearts may be changed.

Heavenly Father, help us turn away from all who would tempt us to wander from you, and help us to look to you always for direction in our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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