Of Draws from the Faith

Of Draws from the Faith

God knows that, in the lives of faithful believers, we will face the temptation to walk away from the faith. Sure, there will be times when that temptation will come to us from outside of our inner circle. Sometimes the world will try to tempt us to turn away through persecution or greed. But one of the more effective and more dangerous temptations we face is when someone we deeply care about tries to call us away from faithfulness to the Lord. 

From the garden to today, followers of God have faced opposition to the faith. Sometimes that opposition comes in the form of hatred and persecution. Sometimes it comes in the form of sly temptation. And sometimes it comes in the form of well-intentioned but dangerous godlessness.

Think about the strategies that the devil has used against the people of God which have made the most headway. Often times, persecuting the church with out-and-out aggression has served to strengthen the faith of believers—the blood of the martyrs being the seed of the church. But sometimes the devil’s plots are much more intimate, much more subtle, and honestly much more dangerous than violence. When the enemy of our souls tempts us through people we genuinely care for, the temptation is significant.

God is not surprised that humanity is often swayed by the influence of our loved ones. IN fact, in Deuteronomy, the Lord spoke a dire warning to the people of Israel regarding this very topic.

Deuteronomy 13:6-11

6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, 7 some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, 8 you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. 9 But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 11 And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.

As a quick explanation for any who are apt to misunderstand this passage, the legal standards for national Israel in the Old Testament were quite strict. This nation was uniquely the people of God in this time period, given the law of God, in the presence of God, under the direct instruction of God, and carrying the promise of God to send Messiah, the only plan God ever had for the salvation of people from all nations.

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