And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. (Deuteronomy 4:27-28)
Imagine a scenario in which one member of a marriage has eyes for someone else outside of the marriage. The faithful spouse perceives this and warns the one with the wandering eye to be careful and to stay away from the person they find so alluring. Unfortunately, the one refuses to heed the warning and continues flirting with this other person, falling more deeply into the seduction. Eventually, the faithful spouse has had enough and says to the unfaithful one, “Leave, and go be with the one you really love. But be prepared to deal with the consequences.” In a nutshell, that is what Moses warned would happen if Israel pursued the gods of the land.
In fact, he didn’t say “if” this happens but “when” this happens they would go into exile and serve “the works of men’s hands, gods of wood and stone.” If they were so enthralled by these “nothing gods,” they would end up serving them in the nations where they were venerated. If their hearts were bound to go after the gods of Babylon, then their bodies would end up in Babylon — in chains. It would seem that this fascination with pleasing the world has not stopped even now. Consider this: the United Nations has never been a friend to Israel, and yet, decade after decade, the nation of Israel seems ready to comply with most anything the UN wishes to hand down — all for the sake of being accepted by the nations.
Here is the reality for God’s people: if we are determined to seek out and embrace the values of the world, then eventually, we will be in servitude to the world. To gain acceptance by this world means we must be polluted by the world’s values. To do that means we will end up acting just like the world which, in turn, means that we will cease serving our purpose — being a light to the world. And so it is that God uses this scenario to teach His people a valuable lesson and that is, it really isn’t so bad in our Father’s house. Even the servants have it good there.
So if He must, He’ll send us away to embrace our other lovers and allow us to lose everything. It might include great suffering to the point that we are reduced to feeding the pigs — but all in the hopes that we will come to our senses and return to Him. But here is the good news — it doesn’t have to be that way at all; we can determine to be faithful to Him. In reality, anything in this world that would lead us astray has been, in some way, fashioned by the hands of men, meaning it is temporal and not eternal. So let us always be careful not to turn away from our Master and thus avoid the pitfalls of this world. Let us keep our eyes fixed on the Author and Finisher of our faith and be the one He calls “Faithful.”
Blessings and Shalom,