Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 25
Day Twenty-Five - Wednesday, March 30
When We Take Allegiance to Another
Read: Deuteronomy 17:2-7 (See also Luke 14:26)
2 If there is found among you, in one of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and transgresses his covenant 3 by going to serve other gods and worshiping them—whether the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden— 4 and if it is reported to you or you hear of it, and you make a thorough inquiry, and the charge is proved true that such an abhorrent thing has occurred in Israel, 5 then you shall bring out to your gates that man or that woman who has committed this crime and you shall stone the man or woman to death. 6 On the evidence of two or three witnesses the death sentence shall be executed; a person must not be put to death on the evidence of only one witness. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first raised against the person to execute the death penalty, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: So you shall purge the evil from your midst.(Deuteronomy 17:7)
Reflection: This is a continuation on yesterday’s theme, and we gain a little more insight about some of the competing religious practices in the ancient desert. Specifically, we learn that the people of Israel have encountered sun and moon worshippers. There is absolutely no tolerance for outside loyalties. Again, the penalty is death. Several witnesses are required, lest someone should make a false charge that would lead to a wrongful stoning. It was crucial to “purge the evil” from the midst of the camp, and this term is used 9 times in Deuteronomy. How have you seen the concept of purging evil mentioned in history? What about in our world today?
Prayer: God of the Wilderness, there are so many temptations that would draw us away from simple worship of you, our one God. We are distracted; we are bombarded. Images and alliances and pleasures and powers lure us away from you. We are invited into crusades to “purge evil.” Guide us to understand your goodness, and your invitation to a fruitful life of doing what is good in your eyes, and best for your Kingdom. May we be found faithful. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist