Deuteronomy 29:14-18 (JDV)
Deuteronomy 29:14 I am establishing this covenant and this oath not only with you,
Deuteronomy 29:15 but also with those who are standing here with us today in the presence of Yahveh our God and with those who are not here today.
Deuteronomy 29:16 “Indeed, you know how we stayed in the land of Egypt and passed through the nations where you traveled.
Deuteronomy 29:17 You saw their detested things and idols made of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which were among them.
Deuteronomy 29:18 Or else there may be a man, woman, clan, or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from Yahveh our God to go and worship the gods of those nations. Be sure there is no root among you bearing poisonous and bitter fruit.
If you ask any Christian whether he or she wants to be an idolater, the answer will be “no.” But idolatry still exists among us.
The Israelites were the same. They had come from pagan roots, and those pagan roots would show up in their history, leading to idolatry, defection, and disaster.
Moses seems to caution his people to dig out those dangerous roots, but he doesn’t actually say that. What is the secret to ridding ourselves of idolatry — rooted in our ancestry? The answer is the same today as it was then. Establishing the covenant with God is the only way.
Today, God is covenanting with his people through Christ his Son. If we who name the name of Jesus Christ are not careful, the roots can emerge again in us. We need to cling to the new covenant, being careful to obey the commands of Christ, and focus on the Great Commission of Christ. If not, those dangerous roots will try to come back, “bearing poisonous and bitter fruit.”
Lord, inspire in us a careful observance of your new covenant through Christ.