Deuteronomy 7: Being a Holy People
Stepping across the border from the U.S. to Mexico or getting off a plane at Heathrow airport in London, you know that you are in a different country. Expressed in the difference in clothes and architecture are attitudes, values and beliefs which make each country unique. And behind all the differences is the way God or a god is worshiped. In the midst of the cultural and racial mix of the Middle East God wanted to make his people distinct. God set up firm limits as if to say to his children, "We don't do that in our family." In their customs, relationships, government and religion they were to be a distinct people of freedom, salvation and liberation for all the world to see.
Warming Up to God
How do your experiences of worship, both on Sunday morning at church and on your own, affect the way you live?
Discovering the Word
- What obligations come to Israel in its special relationship with God?
- From these verses, how would you define the word holy?
- Intermarriage was forbidden and destruction of foreign altars was required (vv. 1-7). Why would you think these instructions are so harsh and uncompromising?
- Israel is told that they have a special relationship with God (v. 6). How does Moses seek to deal with the potential danger of national arrogance (vv. 7-11)?
- What blessings come with keeping these laws (vv. 12-26)?
Applying the Word
- How do you seek to be separate from ungodly forms of worship and behavior?
- What are some sources of temptation that cause you to turn from the Lord?
- As Christians, we are also God's chosen people. How is this a cause for both gratitude and humility?
Responding in Prayer
Ask the Lord to teach you what it means to be in but not of the world. Ask God to make your church a place where people feel special and important in Christ.