If you hear it said about one of the towns the Lord your God is giving you to live in that troublemakers have arisen among you and have led the people of their town astray, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods you have not known), … Verses 12-13 (NIV)
What do you think of people who tempt children to do whatever pleases them with their minds and bodies? What do you think of the co-worker who entices your spouse to be unfaithful? How would you respond if it happened to you? I don’t know how you might feel but I believe many of you would be like me and say, “Those kind of people make me ill and very angry.”
God is more jealous of his people than we are of our children, or spouse, or even our self, he’s serious about those who come between him and us. People who tempt God’s children to wander from him, says Moses to Israel, are worthy of death. Sometimes when I look at the destruction these people leave behind and usually with no remorse, I feel like Moses.
Why such harsh words, such harsh thoughts? Because the devil has servants everywhere, seeking to annihilate the good and true. Above all, they want to undermine our faithfulness to God. It’s hard enough to keep our own sinful desires in check. It’s even harder to train ourselves to recognize wicked people who argue, “Take a break from your faithfulness to God. He’ll understand. Sometimes you just have to be yourself.”
Being your true self, however, is to love God above all. So, if someone is enticing you away from God, or you know someone who’s weakening under pressure to be unfaithful to God, destroy the tempter. How? Not with force, but with prayer. It’s the most powerful weapon of God. Pray for those who persecute you and lead believers astray, that their hearts may be changed. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be strong within you and give you discernment for all the attacks that come your way.
In all your ways remain faithful to him and he will bless you in all you do.
Heavenly Father, help us turn away from all who would tempt us to wander from you, and help us to look to you always for direction and help in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.