Posts Tagged ‘Book of Deuteronomy’

There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you. Deuteronomy 18:10-14

The following remarks are for the Christian.

  • Read the Deuteronomy passage above.
  • What does God say about witches and witchcraft?
  • Notice the terms, ‘shall not’ and ‘abomination to the Lord.’ What do they mean to you?

Now read the Romans passage below.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32

Meditate on the last portion of the last sentence for a moment, “…Those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”

Did you notice the two distinct groups of people who are deserving of death?

  1. Those who practice such things.
  2. Those who approve of those who practice them.

Today’s blog presupposes that you are a) a follower of Jesus Christ and, b) you don’t practice these abominations to the Lord, at least I certainly hope that is the case.

But I’ve noticed something. There are far too many Christians who approve of those who do practice such things. Be warned. According to God, such acceptance is worthy of death. In light of the truth…

Why do you dress up your children as witches and warlocks?  Why do you have cutesy witch decorations in and around your home?  Why in the world would you embrace books and movies that glorify witchcraft?

“Dave,” you say, “just calm down; you are overreacting.”

If you believe these observations are an overreaction, do you also believe that God arbitrarily inserted these verses into His Word the Bible and that they have no meaning or justification? I submit to you that He did not–God means what He says and a wise person should give heed to His word.


Stop trying to justify your actions. Simply obey the Lord and in so doing you will discover that your walk with the Lord is easy and fruitful. In contrast, the anxiety Christians often experience comes when we struggle against the truth. Surrender to the Way and receive from God the peace that surpasses all understanding.

You know the whole witch-thing is wrong. You always have. For God’s sake, just let it go.

What are your thoughts?



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Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. Deuteronomy 33:1Now What?

Did you know this is the first time in the Bible the phrase ‘man of God’ is used? In autobiographical fashion and under the inspiration of God the Father, Moses writes this about himself. How come? Numerous reasons I suppose, but the passage from Deuteronomy 33, I believe, sums up the intent most excellently. Moses was, as best as any one can be, a selfless man; his heart and love for Israel an expression of God’s own heart and the final reason God directs him to record it.

What Did He Do?

God had just informed Moses that he was not going to enter the Promised Land ~and~ that he was going to die—like immediately. Moses already knew about the first part, but what’s this death-stuff he had to wonder. Yes it’s true, Moses was 120 years old, but the Bible tells us he was in great shape. He could have complained or at the very least attempted to intercede on his own behalf, but what does Moses choose to do? Nothing. Instead he turns and pronounces a blessing upon those who would be entering into the Promised Land; the nation of Israel.

What Would You (or I) Have Done?

Don’t tell me, but that’s why God has given us an opportunity to read this account of Moses—so we will know what to do when tribulation smacks home. Moses had no forewarning (and the reason that makes his case extra special), but we do—God has given us His word and in it He instructs us how men and women of God are to react. And why would we want to respond like Moses? Because it is what men of God do—we live to bring honor, glory, and praise to our Lord and Savior, with the deepest gratitude we can muster.

We don’t have to, we get to.

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Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today; and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28No Joke

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

Doctor: “Then don’t do that!”

We Have a Choice

Henny Youngman borrowed the concept. Our Father in Heaven made it incredibly simple—two choices—that’s it. No gray area, no muddy water, nothing to guess at: with God you get black or you get white. How come? Because He loves us too much to make life more difficult than it ought to be. So when we say, “God, it hurts when I do this, ” He can effortlessly point to the singular solution.

Turning Aside

The passage from Deuteronomy illustrates a significant doctrine. God does not regulate the gush of blessing; His fount is always on full bore. It is when we choose to turn aside we curse ourselves–when we pursue ungodly things, we have elected to move away from the spout where the blessings pour out. This is the issue if you or I are not feeling blessed today. Strength comes to those who go to the gym, nourishment comes to those who go to the fridge, and cleanliness comes to those who go take a bath, but none of those places will change because we’re not there.

The Remedy

God’s prescription: believe Him, love Him, follow Him, obey Him, and the result is blessing prolifico. Deny Him, hate him, disobey Him and experience spiritual famine, weakness, and failure. God does not curse us because we refuse the cure, we curse ourselves.

And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the Lord your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. Deuteronomy 11:13-14



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Yet, for all that, you did not believe the Lord your God, who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day. Deuteronomy 1:32-33About Deuteronomy

If you have been following these devotions, you know that we have completed the first four books of the Pentateuch and are today beginning the Book of Deuteronomy. The word Deuteronomy means ‘the second giving of the Law’ and the book is essentially Moses’ final sermon to the nation of Israel before they cross-over into the Promised Land. In this God-inspired, farewell address Moses revisits most of what occurred (and what was recorded) in the previous four Old Testament books, which leaves us to consider the notion of skipping over it, after all, we just read all this stuff.

Without illuminating every doctrinal point, we should be mindful of at least two significant truths: it was God’s directive to Israel that this entire book was to be read to the congregation once a year during the feast of Tabernacles and that of all the Old Testament books, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy more than any other. So if we are tempted (and I was) to skip-over the book, those facts should give us pause.

If God Goes Before Us…

If God does in fact go before us, then it stands to spiritual reason there is no rationale for spying out the land. Despite the fact that Moses agreed to it, there is recorded nowhere in the Bible that he sought God’s will on the matter. The opening passage of today’s devotion should clearly illustrate that if God checked-out the region beforehand, there is no cause for man to go in and make sure God got it right. The fact that God allowed it to happen does not mean He condoned it, but serves to illustrate that He allows free will and that He can pull goodness out of the messes we tend to leave behind when we choose unwisely.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

In formulating a modern-day application, we should consider what it really means to spy-out the land, first putting aside secular wisdom. It means we don’t trust God. It means we have abandoned the measure of faith that He has provided. It means we want proof, visual or otherwise. It means that we will not move obediently forward until we make sure God got it right. It means we miss out on the blessings. It means we could wander around the wilderness for a very long time. It means we might very well die in the wilderness.

Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11

In his final instructions, Moses is warning Israel to not repeat the errors of their fathers. The Apostle Paul would remind us that these words were written for our admonition as well. Our Father would have us know that sight is subject to interpretation, while faith is absolute and without question. It is a true testimony that If God leads us to it, He will most certainly lead us through it.

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Reading through my Google-alerts this morning and I came upon this wonderful item from Dr. Billy Graham as written in yesterday’s (Feb. 29, 08) Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper. One particular paragraph ( highlighted below) truly sums up why Christians need to be on poverty’s frontline.

DEAR DR. GRAHAM: I know the Bible says we ought to help the poor, and I guess I agree with that, but can’t governments do this better than churches? It’ll take a lot of money to fight poverty in places such as Africa, for example, and churches simply don’t have that kind of money. — P. R.

DEAR P. R.: We sometimes forget that Jesus Himself was very poor, and so were His disciples. On one occasion, He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58).

After all, He could have chosen to come into this world as a rich man — for He was God, and the whole world belonged to Him. But He didn’t, and one reason was because He wanted to show His compassion for the whole human race, rich and poor alike. And if we are His followers we should have that same kind of compassion. Centuries before Christ was born, God commanded His people “to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11).

I’m thankful for the work governments and others are doing to fight poverty and disease in many parts of the world; the task is too great for any one agency. But Christians should be in the forefront — and one reason is because they come with compassion, and with the good news of Christ’s power to change lives.

Pray for Christian groups that seek to bring Christ’s love and mercy to those who hurt. (My son Franklin’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, is one of them.) And be generous in your giving. Above all, ask God to help you see the world the way He sees it, with all of its misery and despair — but also with hope in Christ.


I too applaud the efforts of our government to help in crisis situations, but without introducing folks to the saving power of Jesus Christ we risk merely making their lives more comfortable before they walk through the gates of hell.

Why give partially when we can give fully.


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