Putting God's Word into Practice…

Deuteronomy 4:25-49 ~ Punished for a Purpose

on November 13, 2014

When my sons get a low grade on a homework assignment, they lose their video game privileges for a certain number of days.  When someone drives drunk, they lose their license.  When someone steals, they spend time in jail.  “The punishment fits the crime” and seems fair.  Idolatry is a big sin to our Holy God!  And the punishment may seem severe, but it “fits the crime.” The goal of God’s punishment is ALWAYS revelation and restoration.

If God’s people, who are set apart for His inheritance, choose to live corrupt, evil, idolatrous lives, He will be angry.  And like a good, loving Father, He will punish them/us.  It says in verses 26-27 that they will not live long in the land that He gives them to possess, that they will be utterly destroyed, and the few who are left will be scattered and driven to other nations where they “will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell.”  God will use this punishment–this discipline by destruction and reduction–to help His people realize the emptiness and futility of serving gods instead of Him!  He is a jealous God!

BUT from there you will SEEK THE LORD your God and you will find him, if you SEARCH AFTER HIM with all your heart and with all your soul.  When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will RETURN TO THE LORD your God and OBEY HIS VOICE. For the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them. (29-31)

Do you feel separated from God by sin?  Do you recognize that you are being disciplined by God because He loves you?  Have you chased after gods, and ended up someplace you don’t want to be?  God let you get where you are so you would seek Him!  Let His discipline make you desperate for Him!

God uses trials, signs, wonders, war, and discipline to get our attention that we may know today, and lay it to our hearts, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other besides Him. (4:34-35,39)

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