Friday, April 8: Exodus 23- False gods.

As the Lord sets up His people, it is important to Him that people be treated fairly. In verse 9 God gives the example that Israel is not to oppress foreigners, because Israel were foreigners in Egypt. And yet, even as the Lord places this responsibility upon His people, God is adamant that Israel beware of foreign gods.

“Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips. ... Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. ... Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods.  Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you”(13, 24, 32-33).

The Lord is a jealous God allowing NO room for competitors. And while our situation may be different, I hear the Lord warning about being ensnared by the gods of the land I live in.

In my country, one of the gods is the god of money, success and the lessor gods of pride and success that accompany the main ones. It is so easy to be seduced by money and success. Their trappings are everywhere… clothes, fashion, houses, cars, vacations, toys, schools… and on and on it goes. Seducing us from dropping our eyes from the Lord and placing them on something else.

I know a fellow who is looking for work and he is interviewing with companies across the US. I have lived in some of the areas and know people in others. Interesting how the gods of money and success can drape themselves in different attributes in different parts of the country.

In New York, for example, success often comes at the cost of family, long hours commuting into the city. California has the seduction of weather and play, that coupled with success, keeps people from the people of God. Foreign gods in my culture are subtle, conniving gods who seduce people with niceties away from the Lord.

The warning about foreign gods has my antenna up…

Lord, help me be appropriately aware of any gods who are working to steal me away from You. I place my heart, soul, mind and strength in Your hands, Oh Lord. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


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