Don’t Bow to Overthrown Gods

HEAR journaling is a method some of us at PRC use to help us to take a passage from our daily Bible reading and give it extra thought. Here is an example.

H – Highlight

Exodus 23:23-24

23 “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.

E – Explain

In this part of the law, God is spelling out for Israel in brief how they are to behave in keeping with the Ten Commandments as he moves them into their land. In this particular command, God warns the people against adopting the pagan religions of the nations they overthrow. Do not worship their idols. Do not take up their practices.

A – Apply

What grabs my heart is this: There is a tendency among people to see the victory of God and still desire to adopt the practices of enemies of God. On the surface, this is utter craziness. After all, this warning is for when God clearly drives out the inhabitants of the land. God will have shown his might over the false gods of the nations. Yet it is somehow part of who we are that we might still be tempted to turn to what God overthrew.

In life today, I see something similar. Christians are those who have seen god truly overthrow their sin. We have seen God grant us spiritual victory over the world and its ways. Yet many are the churches that are tempted to seek the approval of the world that Christ has overthrown. Many are the Christians who desire the approval of people who hate the Lord and who are, unless saved, objects of wrath as Ephesians 2:3 tells us.

A right application, then, would be for us to realize that Christ has overcome the world. Jesus is victorious. We do not want to then bring to ourselves the implements of worship from those Christ has overthrown. We do not want to adopt the sinful ways of the world. We do not want to bow down to try to gain the approval of the world. We want to rejoice in our King and his victory.

R – Respond

Lord, I pray that you will reshape my heart so that I have no desire for the things the world treasures. Let me not compromise for the approval of the world or for the dainties this life could offer. Let me instead rejoice that Christ is King.