November 12, 2012

Scripture and Commentary, Tuesday after the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity


Lectionary

Morning - Ps. 44, Jer 35:12, Col. 1:18-2:5
Evening - Ps. 46, 85, Dt. 6:110-25, Mt. 26:17-30

Commentary, Deuteronomy 6:10-25

Continuing to explain what it means to love God, Moses turns to two of the most dangerous temptations Israel would face in Canaan.  First was the temptation to become enthralled by their new found wealth, and, thus, to forget God (6:12).  The way to avoid this was to remember that it was God who brought them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.  He gave the land and wealth to them, and He can take it away.  This will lead them to fear God rather than love mammon.  Second was the temptation to turn to the gods of the people around them (6:14).  Canaan was filled with pagan religions.  Many promised peace and prosperity to their followers.  Others encouraged unbridled self-indulgence and sexual immorality in the name of their gods.  The Hebrews would be tempted to turn to such religions and abandon the stern, self-disciplined life required by God.  They would also be tempted to change the faith given by God by accommodating and incorporating pagan ideas and practices into it.

God says such compromises kindle His anger so much they place Israel in danger of being destroyed from the face of the earth (6:15).  These are strong words, and should be the cause of careful thought by those who lead worship and teach the faith today.

Rather than tempting God to anger (6:16) by deserting Him for mammon or false gods, Israel is to pay special attention to keeping the commandments of God as a way of life, habitually, intentionally, and diligently; as God diligently casts out her enemies from before her (6:17-19).
                    
Rather than compromising the faith, the people are to pass it on to their children (6:20-25) unaltered and undiminished.  Raising the young to know and serve God is one of the primary tasks of every generation.