DEUTERONOMY 11, 12 and 13
The search for the source of the Nile is a topic that has fuelled both fact and fiction. The reason is that the Nile is vitally important to Egypt’s irrigation and agriculture. Farmers had a type of foot-powered water pump that lifted water from the Nile itself into their own land’s irrigation channels. It was hard work to do this and without such human intervention, the harvest would fail. By contrast the Promised Land was watered by rain sent from heaven, motivated by God’s care and in preparation for Israel to claim their inheritance. Today, we should expect that our ministries, our mission fields, and mentoring/discipleship are ‘powered’ by the Holy Spirit, and not entirely by our own exertions. Ask the Lord for rain from heaven and expect him to answer!
Chapter 11:22 confirms that, if we walk in fellowship, obedience, and trust with the Lord, we will also inherit every part of the land where we place our feet. So one kind of walking helps another kind! It worked for Israel, and it can work for us too. We have a choice – as distinct as one mountain from another on the opposite side of the valley – to serve God to receive blessings, or to reject him to incur curses.
The existing inhabitants of Canaan did their own thing as far as worship was concerned – serving the wrongs gods in the wrong way – a manmade religion that suited them. The Lord wanted none of that for his people: get rid of every repulsive aspect of their ways, and don’t even serve God in their ways, but wait until God chooses the times and the place for worship of him. Worship is not some kind of home-made, do-what-you-like thing; it is about being precise, obedient, and doing what He likes!
There is nothing wrong with eating meat or having BBQs at home, but if it is a proper offering, then it must be at the Tabernacle, not at some DIY home altar!
There are two dangers with false prophets: either they will prophesy incorrectly, or they will prophesy and it comes true. Either way, they are false, and they will lead you astray. If they or anyone – even someone you love dearly – entices you to turn from God and to worship idols, then turn this person over to the authorities and have them executed. The same goes for whole villages. The test of a true prophet is: (1) what he or she says comes true (Deuteronomy 18:21-22); and (2) he or she agrees with the scriptures (Isaiah 8:20). The punishment sounds harsh, but it is necessary to keep the faith of Israel pure and directly solely at the Lord.