The aim of this devotional study is to grow in understanding and reflect on the jealous love God has for us.
10 And he said, “Behold, I am making a covenant. Before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been created in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people among whom you are shall see the work of the LORD, for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you.
11 “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 12 Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. 13 You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim 14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), 15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice 16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.
17 You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal.
Context: These are part of the commands which Moses gave the Hebrew slaves which were delivered from Egypt and about to enter their Promised Land.
Definitions: A covenant is a binding agreement by which one party binds itself ceremonially to another until death. Asherim were obscene images, or phallic idols, symbols of fertility and fertility gods.
- When you read God made a covenant with Israel, what do you understand? And what would it imply?
- Why God did not want his people to make a covenant with the nations residing in the Promised Land?
- How could a covenant with another nation become “a snare” for the Israelites? [Think a bit]
- What is the common appeal in the phrases “tear down their altars…”, “a covenant with the inhabitants of the land”, “take their daughters for your sons” and “not make for yourself any gods…”?
- When you read “the LORD… is a jealous God”, what do you understand God is saying?
Personal reflection and prayer
- The Lord commanded his people to not covenant with or bind themselves to the evil and immoral practices of the people in the Land, since “it will become a snare”. In which way does the evil or immoral practices of contemporary society become a trap to believers today? [hint: which evil or immoral practices entrap millions of people today?]
- Are there any partnerships in your life which would provoke the Lord to jealousy?
- An idol can be defined as something you adore, something you trust or rely on, or something that you obey. Prayerfully think whether there are idols in your life which provoke your loving Lord to jealousy.