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When the Lord your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-30)

If I could boil Moses’ comments down into one thought it would be, “Don’t go digging up bones.” In other words, God’s people should not seek after something that has been marked for destruction or that has already been destroyed, especially if the notion is to try to resurrect it. As far as the Canaanites, they committed “every abomination … unto their gods.” The things they practiced were corruptive and inhumane. It has been proven through archaeological discovery that the bricks of ancient Jericho contained human bones –- specifically infants. That is why these abominations needed to be exterminated and removed from the land lest they be a temptation for Israel. For God’s people to adopt such practices would incite immorality among God’s people — something that should not be.

In spite of the warnings, in time, Israel would do just what they were told not to — they sought after other gods and dug up “the bones” of these contemptible practices. And as expected, they were corrupted by them to the point that they were eventually exiled from the land themselves. That seems to be the way of it with people — they have to find out for themselves that God actually knows what He is talking about. Frankly, it is no different today than it was then. So called “enlightened people” often find intrigue in lifestyles, habits and philosophies that have already been discredited. For example, too many young Americans are fascinated with the allure of socialism and communism.

So what is our response to this? If we are truly following the Messiah, our faces should be directed forward and not behind us. We shouldn’t be looking to return to Egypt but headed toward Canaan. We shouldn’t be looking to resurrect anything that God has determined should be dead, and that includes the habits and inclinations of our past. As Paul said, “Those who are Messiah’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). Until our corruptible bodies are made incorruptible, it is necessary that we live in acknowledgement of this. Each day we must crucify our flesh and, once done, we must not try to resurrect it. Let the carnal man die so that the Spirit man may live.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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