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February 27 Today’s Reading — Deuteronomy 12-14
“Be not snared!”
How instructive, wise, and needful is the counsel of God in these three chapters! May God the Holy Spirit graciously write his statutes and judgments upon our hearts and minds that we may live unto Christ and for Christ, in the enjoyment of his statutes and judgments, all the days of our lives.
First, we are taught to worship God, the triune Jehovah, alone. If we would worship God, we must worship him at his altar, Christ Jesus. In this gospel day, we worship God in the Spirit. We call no earthly place or thing holy. We have no carnal altars of worship. Christ is our Altar. — “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle” (Hebrews 13:10). We bring our gifts to God by him and our gifts (whatever they may be) are “acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5; Ecclesiastes 9:7).
Our Lord Jesus Christ was the Law-giver; and he alone is the Law-fulfiller! Our acceptance with God is in him. He is the end of the law for righteousness to every believer (Romans 10:4).
We are specifically commanded, “forsake not the Levite” (Deuteronomy 8:19). The Levites were given to Aaron to minister to him in the tabernacle. Each Levite was given a specific task. As such, they give us a fair representation of gospel preachers, those men who are pastors according to God’s own heart (Jeremiah 3:15), who serve Christ by serving his people in the house of God. If you would worship God, “forsake not the Levite,” forsake not the assembly of God’s saints and the ministry of the gospel.
If God is worshipped, every false prophet and all false religion, everything connected with idolatry is to be despised and cast from us. I do not suggest that we are to be mean to will-worshippers and works-mongers. Just as we send missionaries to Africa and New Guinea to preach the gospel to the heathen, so we must and should preach the gospel to the religious heathen next door and in our own houses. Just as the missionary in New Guinea or Africa lives peaceably with his heathen neighbor, we are to live peaceably with our Arminian, will-worshipping neighbor. But we are not to embrace them as brethren, worship at their altars, or give credibility to their false prophets. That is the message of Deuteronomy 13. Let us heed it! If, by the grace of God, I live a life of faith in Christ, I am here taught that I should have a holy jealousy to throw down all idolatry and count it dung, for Christ’s sake.
Belong to God
Deuteronomy 14 reminds us that we belong to God our Savior. May God give me grace to see that he has chosen me to be one of his own, that he has adopted me into his family, that he has sanctified me by his grace, and that I am his property, his peculiar treasure, in marriage union to the Lord Jesus Christ by an everlasting covenant which cannot be broken. Spirit of God, enable me, day by day and hour by hour through the day, to live for the glory of God. God teach me to learn, from the precepts in this chapter, how to live as one of your own in purity and holiness unto God. May it be my meat and my drink to do your will!