In 2 Tim. 3:16-17, we see an outline formed for us to become the fully discipled followers the Lord desires for us to be. God provided this outline in similar fashion in Deut. 12.
1. Doctrine (What is right)
Deut. 11:31-32; 12:1 “For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and judgments which I set before you this day.
These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.”
2. Reproof (What is wrong)
V2-3 “Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.”
3. Correction (Make right that which is wrong)
V11-12 “Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD: And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates;”
V26-27 “Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose: And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God...”
4. Instruction (Keep right that which has been corrected)
V28-32 “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”
LESSON - In previous lessons, we see God’s plan to use His people to purify the land of Canaan. The Canaanites had defiled the land with their worship of pagan gods and practices. Now the Israelites would be used by God to set right that which was wrong. In doing so, we see an ongoing lesson for God’s people today.
1. We are to have no other gods before us.
-To a degree, we all struggle with idolatry. Anything we set as a higher priority than the Lord in our lives supplants God’s rightful place on the throne of our hearts.
2. We must repent of ALL idols.
-We must “put off” everything and everyone that comes before the Lord. Some things will require a simple re-orientation of our priorities. Other things will require complete eradication.
3. We must strive to set right ALL aspects of lives to live in accordance with God’s word.
-This task will seem overwhelming at first, but it can be accomplished one step at a time. It starts by asking those against whom we have sinned to forgive us.
4. Once the Lord gains ground in our hearts, we must burn the bridges so that retreat is impossible.
-Once our lives are emptied of reoccurring sin, we must quickly replace the void with that which is pleasing onto the Lord. That’s what should’ve been there all along! Church attendance, the study of God’s word, yielding to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and telling others about Jesus are sacrifices worthy of Christ. God will use these habits to fill us with joy until He returns. Your idols are the only thing keeping you from experiencing this joy!