Deuteronomy: they say home is where the heart is…

Cover to Cover

Reading: Deuteronomy 12:1-15:22

Focus: Deuteronomy 12:1-7

…and God’s heart is in us. For Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23) And Paul reminds us that “you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you.” (1 Corinthians 3:16) If such is the case that we are God’s temple—that is, His dwelling place—then should we then be careful of what we fill our hearts, God’s temple—the place where His Spirit dwells, with?

As Moses was instructing the people before heading into Promised Land, he gave them careful warnings about how they were to prepare the land in view of the lives of worship. They were to completely destroy all the places of foreign worship, all the altars, sacred stones, sacred poles, idols and anything connected with the worship of foreign and false gods. God Himself would then elect a sacred place where they would worship and it was there that they would come and worship God. (That place we know as Jerusalem in the land of Judah.)

Then, the question to be asked: If God’s dwelling place in the new age of the Kingdom is now with us, among us, and in our hearts, then how have we prepared it to worship the Most High and Holy God? What sacred idols, treasures and relics remain in our hearts? Have we cleared out this place of worship, so that it may be a place of sacred and holy worship before the Presence of the Almighty? What lies and deceits have we crafted to blind ourselves that those sacred items have little influence in our worship of God?

King David, the great psalmist was all too aware of this issue and he writes a prayer which each one of us should consider:

Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

David was all too aware that his heart was the fountain of worship; that out of his heart he worshipped God. None of us are perfect and David, too, was far from perfect. However, it does not excuse us from repeating the words of this broken and humble man, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight…” May this be our prayer; to come and understand that worship occurs in every moment of our lives in all that we do; that this, as Paul writes to Romans, is our spiritual act of worship “to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” (Romans 12:1)

Next Reading: Deuteronomy 16:1-19:21