Friday, July 14, 2017
“And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV).
Plain and simple!
Those outside the Christian community tell us there is no right or wrong, that everything is relative (“you have your truth, I have mine, so let us agree to disagree,” et cetera). We expect this from people without a Bible: having no absolute standard of rightness, they cannot gauge other systems with it. What is strange is when “Christian” (?) people suggest, “Why cannot we all just get along? Why nitpick about doctrine? As long as we believe in Jesus, is that not enough?”
JEHOVAH God expressly warned the nation Israel in today’s Scripture. In verses 1-14, He told Israel that He would bless her if she obeyed all of His laws. Verses 15-68 are a very thorough listing of the horrible curses to befall Israel if she drifts from His “words.” Today’s Scripture is very strict. There is no loose, “Do the best you can,” “As long as you obey most of My commandments,” or “Just believe in Me and I will bless you.” All the words of the LORD are important. They were not to deviate at all from anything that He specified—particular doctrines mattered because specific words mattered. Any departure from those very words constituted idolatry (worshipping something other than the one true God).
Study Israel’s history from that time forward. She forgot the divine words but kept the religious rituals, rites, and ceremonies. For instance, 15 centuries after today’s Scripture, Jesus constantly corrected Israel’s religious leaders for being ignorant of the Bible. “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures…” (Matthew 22:29). “Have ye not read so much as this…?” (Luke 6:3). If the leaders did not know anything, what about the commoners? “[The religious leaders] be blind leaders of the blind” (Matthew 15:14). Equally “blind!”
The professing “Church” finds itself in such a pitiful dilemma today. There is a nice outward form—beautiful music, elaborate prayers, costly vessels, state-of-the-art auditoriums, and so on—but how we do not know the words of God. Like Israel of old, we have wafted right and left!