‘You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things. “But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. ‘ Deuteronomy 12:2-5
It’s quite unnatural for us who grew up in church to talk about destroying things. What more destroying EVERYTHING. The Israelites we commanded to destroy everything in the land they are about to conquer, because God knew that the Israelites were weak and easily tempted to serve other gods. And serving other gods is a direct sin!
Today as Christians, we don’t take temptation and sin very seriously. We think it’s just something we need to AVOID. But no, we need to find a deep hatred towards sin. Because sin is DEFYING God ON PURPOSE. In a culture full of sin, we are also tempted to see sin as not very serious. ‘If it doesn’t hurt anyone, how is it a sin?’ right? WRONG. That’s not how God sees it at all.
God wants us to face our sins and overcome it. Overcome sin the way you overcome an enemy in a war. You must show no mercy. And even though temptation itself is not a sin, we should not allow temptation to stick around as well. The bible says that if your eye causes you to sin, you should gauge it out. Wow imagery.
This sermon by Moses in Deuteronomy 12:2-5 reminds me of a powerful sermon by John Piper. Hope it motivates you to war against sin and your carnal self.