As I continue to read through the book of Deuteronomy, I’d like to share with you some of the thoughts I’ve had about what I’ve been reading and how these verses can apply to us today. 

In Romans, Paul writes, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV). 

This idea isn’t something Paul came up with on his own. We can see from this verse here that God’s people were to never conform to the world. 

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there.

Deuteronomy 18:9 (NIV)

For the most part, why we shouldn’t behave as the world behaves is clear. “Friendship with the world means enmity with God” (cf. James 4:4). We also have this intelligence from 3 John.

Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

3 John 1:11 (NIV)

However, there might be ways we behave that seem perfectly natural to us but could fall into the category of behaving like the world if we’re not careful. 

You are the children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave the front of your heads for the dead.

Deuteronomy 14:1 (NIV)

When another Christian dies, we know that they are now with the Lord.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NIV)

We must grieve, but how do we grieve? Do we grieve as the world does? Not knowing really where our loved ones have gone, or do we grieve with confidence that someone we’ve loved, who knows Jesus, has gone on to be with him? We know that those who know the Lord have gone on to a better place. We don’t have to lie to ourselves or anyone else like the world does and say, “He’s in a better place.” when he didn’t know the Lord and lived a life that reflected his love for the world. 

It’s hard when those we love have gone on to be with the Lord, and our grief is a reflection of our love for them. How we show that grief to the world is a reflection of our love and trust in God.  

Purging the Evil

The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deuteronomy 17:7 (NIV)

I’ve often wondered why the Old Testament states that the first people to throw the first stone or otherwise exact a death sentence on someone had to be the witnesses. This is to prevent false accusations. It’s easier in a system without such a policy to falsely accuse someone of something when it’s not your hand inflicting punishment. However, if the accuser is the first to lay on hands, the situation changes. The accuser’s hands have shed the blood. Let’s examine this passage from John. 

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, to have a basis for accusing him.

John 8:3-6 (NIV)

These teachers of the law and Pharisees didn’t care about the law or the woman caught in adultery. Would they have behaved like this if they did? Where was the man? No, they had an ulterior motive and only wanted to use the occasion to try and trap Jesus. Those that were with them were there to satisfy their own bloodthirsty cravings. What does Jesus tell them?

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

John 8:7 (NIV)

Jesus wasn’t telling them that only someone without sin could pass judgment. He was referring back to the law of Moses that dictated who the first people should be to exact the punishment. Reminding them of their sin, convicted them that they were being hypocrites with ulterior motives. 

Conclusion

I remember years ago when my best friend went home to be with the Lord. While I didn’t weep, wail, and throw myself onto his coffin. I didn’t behave like someone who knew my friend was with the Lord. I was still a new Believer, and that’s part of it. I also didn’t have the trust, and understanding of the Lord I have today. I’m still not the mature Christian I’d like to be, but the Lord isn’t finished with me yet. I’m thankful for His grace that didn’t condemn me when I mourned so deeply for my dear friend. I’m also thankful that I will see him once again, and we will worship the Lord as we once did. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away. 

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.