Thoughts on Deuteronomy #11 — God they had not known

14th June, 2013 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

I have almost finished reading Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 31-32, Moses has completed his retelling of the law to the Israelites.  He warns them of the dangers of turning from the LORD God, but even now when the words of the law are fresh in the people’s minds, the LORD God tells Moses that the people will turn from Him once they are in the Promised Land. The LORD tells Moses to sing a song and teach the song to the people to serve as a reminder to stay close to the LORD.

In this song Moses describes the “gods” that the people will worship when they turn from God, listing three important things. Who are these gods? First, they are gods that the people haven’t known. The people know Yahweh and have seen His mighty power and His tender care. For forty years they have depended upon Yahweh for their daily existence and He has never let them down. But the idols to which they will turn — these are unknown gods who have never cared for them.  Why would they turn from the God they knew and worship a “god” that has never done anything for them? They have not known this god and the “god” does not know them. Second, these gods just recently appeared. They have no history with the gods they will choose to worship. The gods haven’t proven themselves faithful to them like Yahweh has for forty years. What a mystery to turn from a faithful God who provides all you need to a god about who just recently came into your life. Third, their fathers did not fear this god. From Abraham through Moses the fathers of the Israelites worshipped Yahweh. We sing “Faith of our Fathers” and remember the rich heritage of our Christian families and the Christian church. The God we worship is a God that believers throughout the centuries have feared and worshipped. There is a history of God’s sovereignty and faithfulness, and His claims about who He is has been proven throughout the history of the church. God has been trustworthy. There is no reason to doubt that He will continue to be trustworthy for us in this generation.

We, too, turn from God to idols and it is just as mind-boggling that we choose to trust in these idols that  are gods that we have not known, that recently appeared, and our fathers did not fear instead of turning to God who has shown Himself worthy of our trust. Idols let us down; God never lets us down. He has made Himself known, He has been faithful through the years, and He is the God of our Fathers. Why wouldn’t we trust Him?

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