Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 16, 2023

“—for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—”

Today’s devotion comes from Leviticus 17:1-9.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded, saying, “Any man from the house of Israel who slaughters an ox or a lamb or a goat in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, and has not brought it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD before the tabernacle of the LORD, bloodguiltiness is to be reckoned to that man.  He has shed blood and that man shall be cut off from among his people.  The reason is so that the sons of Israel may bring their sacrifices which they were sacrificing in the open field, that they may bring them in to the LORD, at the doorway of the tent of meeting to the priest, and sacrifice them as sacrifices of peace offerings to the LORD.  The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting, and offer up the fat in smoke as a soothing aroma to the LORD.  They shall no longer sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat demons with which they play the harlot.  This shall be a permanent statute to them throughout their generations.”’

“Then you shall say to them, ‘Any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, and does not bring it to the doorway of the tent of meeting to offer it to the LORD, that man also shall be cut off from his people.”  Leviticus 17:1-9.  


“You shall not worship them or serve them;  for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”  Exodus 20:5-6.

“—for you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—”  Exodus 34:14.

Let us be careful.  Let us not be quick to dismiss today’s Scriptures, thinking that we are safe because we do not intentionally worship idols made of gold or wood.  There can be idols made by our mind and our heart.  

Consider the following article by Augustus Toplady (1740-1778) who was chiefly known as a writer of hymns including “Rock of Ages”.  He ministered in London, England.  Although he was originally a follower of John Wesley, in 1758 he adopted strong Calvinist convictions.  Some comments by Wesley upon Toplady’s presentation of Calvinism led to a bitter controversy between them. 

“The ‘god’ of Arminianism” by Augustus Toplady

“I dare say, that, in such an auditory as this, a number of Arminians are present.  I fear, that all our public assemblies have too many of them.  Perhaps, however, even these people, idolaters as they are, may be apt to blame, and, indeed, with justice, the absurdity of those who worship idols of silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.  But let me ask:  If it be so very absurd, to worship the work of other men’s hands what must it be, to worship the works of our own hands?  Perhaps, you may say, ‘God forbid that I should do so.

Nevertheless, let me tell you, that trust, confidence, reliance, and dependence, for salvation, are all acts and very solemn ones too, of divine worship:  and upon whatsoever you depend, whether in whole or in part, for your acceptance with God, and for your justification in his sight, whatsoever, you rely upon, and trust in, for the attainment of grace or glory;  if it be any thing short of God in Christ, you are an idolater for all intents and purposes.

Very different is the idea which Scripture gives us, of the ever-blessed God, from that of those false gods worshipped by the heathens;  and from that degrading representation of the true God, which Arminianism would palm upon mankind.  Our God (says this Psalm, verse the third) is in the heavens:  he hath done whatsoever he pleased.  This is not the Arminian idea of God: for our free-willers and our chance- mongers tell us, that God does not do whatsoever he pleases; that there are a great number of things, which God wishes to do, and rags and strives to do, and yet cannot bring to pass  …  Is their god the Bible-God?  Certainly not.  Their god ‘submits’ to difficulties which he ‘cannot help’ himself out of, and endearours to make himself ‘easy’ under millions and millions of inextricable embarrassments, uncomfortable disappointments, and mortifying defeats.  … This said scheme ascends, on the ladder of blasphemy, to the mountain top of atheism;  and then hurls itself from that precipice, into the gulf of blind, adamantine necessity, in order to prove mankind free agents!

… One great contest, between the religion of Arminianism, and the religion of Christ, is, who shall stand entitled to the praise and glory of a sinner’s salvation?  Conversion decides this point at once;  for I think that, without any imputation of uncharitableness, I may venture to say, that every truly awakened person, at least when he is under the shine of God’s countenance upon his soul, will fall down upon his knees, with this hymn of praise ascending from his heart, Not unto me, O Lord, not unto me, but to thy name, give the glory:  I am saved not for my righteousness, but for thy mercy and thy truth’s sake.”

Let us also beware of the strong and subtle influences of the world on us whether by TV or by the internet or by neighbors or by even family or friends.

“otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.”  Exodus 34:15-16.

“So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the LORD your God has commanded you.  For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.”  Deuteronomy 4:23-24.


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