Today’s reading is Deuteronomy 12.
One of the basic tips of gardening is when pulling weeds, to always make sure you pull out the entire plant from the root, or else it can grow back from just a little bit of the root. I’ve heard this countless times; it was something I kept in mind when we planted our first real garden this spring. But after a summer of laziness on my part, as I look out into our backyard garden half-full of weeds, I’m woefully reminded of the diligence in removing your weeds properly, all the way down to the root, as soon as you can.
Moses’s commands to his people in Deuteronomy 12 to “destroy the all the places where the nations whom you dispossess served their gods” makes me consider my own diligence in rooting out the weeds, not just in a garden, but in my soul & mind. The Israelites had problems throughout the Old Testament of being tempted to turn back to the ways of the world in impatience after God had seen them through trial after trial. Knowing this, Moses made sure they knew to destroy any temptation to fall back to worldly sinful ways by completely ridding any sign of it from the very foundation. The mention of yeast throughout the Bible explains this point (5 Galatians 9: “ A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”) The smallest concession to sin makes one wholly sinful; the momentary distraction of the relics of the gods of man can lead to whole corruption. Instead, we are called to be like Jesus, wholly man but wholly without sin, no concession even when the Devil himself came to convince Him face-to-face to do things His own way.
Instead, Moses encourages us: “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, for you have not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the lord your God is giving you.” (Deut. 12:8-9) Instead we are to do as the Lord wants for us to be with Him and receive His blessings. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him, for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” When we leave the root of our sin unchecked, encouraged to do things how we want as those of the world would do without a second thought, we open ourselves to the seed of sin growing uncontrollably and choking out the bountiful harvest the Lord has in store for us.
I pray today that the Lord would strengthen me to examine deeply where I have left the root of sin unchecked in my life so that I may better address and avoid doing what wouldn’t please Him. I pray for the courage, self-awareness, and love of what is holy to seek not what the world tells me is okay, what is pleasing in my own eyes, but what pleases the Lord. I rejoice that the Lord has delivered me through the trials of the past to be here now to worship Him, and am thankful and hold on to the hope of the inheritance I have in the Lord.