Our two studies on the “Take Heed” statements of Moses to Israel have so far given warnings about Forgetting and Idolatry. Our next warning is in regard to being deceived.
3. Protect Yourself from Deceptions
Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
This particular warning really requires more back ground than the others have so far. Before and after the warning God did two things.
God Promised Provision (Deuteronomy 11:11-15)
God made it clear to Israel that their obedience would bring blessing but disobedience would bring chastisement. Their prosperity or suffering would relate directly to their response to God’s commands. Remember, God gave three opportunities to Israel to receive or reject the commandments. On all three occasions Israel welcomed them and on the third occasion Israel formerly entered their covenant relationship with God.
God Prescribed Prevention (11:18-22) As well promises God prescribed a prevention.
The Hebrew translated here as “lay up” has multiple meanings, it has a general idea of permanency. So God’s Words are to be a permanent fixture in your heart and soul.
Normally we find heart and soul being used interchangeably, but as we find them together we can discern there is a difference between the two.
Heart – by the heart it means we must know God’s Words, understand them, love them and choose to obey them.
Soul – by referring to the soul it means let the Word of God become a part of you.
With the command and by using these two words we can see the idea of permanency very clearly.
How do we do this?
- Bind them for a sign
- Carry them with you
- Teach them (19)
- Teach your children
- Teach any one who will listen
- Decorate with them (20)
God Demanded Discernment (11:16)
Finally, we see that God demanded discernment. Other gods may tempt them, but they had to discern between truth and error, between Jehovah and false idols. The old saying about the grass always being greener on the other side may be true, but as one man added, it may be greener, but it still has to be cut. The lies of the enemy can seem attractive, and we do not always see them as lies, so we must use discernment.
The tactic with Adam and Eve is tried and tested. Even into the New Testament, thousands of years after Eden, we find the tactics of Satan have remained the same (1 John 2:16)
Discernment Demands that we knowing the Truth and testing teachings. We must try the spirits (1 John 4:1); Prove all Things (1 Thessalonians 5:1); beware of seducing spirits (1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Tim 3:13) and be ready for when the deceivers appear as angels of light (2 Corinthians 11:13)!
God help us to protect ourselves from being deceived.