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What the book of Deuteronomy has to say about the Worship of God
By John Chopores
Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
"Ver. 19. And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, &c.] The starry heaven, which to do in itself is not sinful; and may be lawfully and commendably done, to raise admiration at the wonderful works of God in them, and lead to adore the author of them: but if not guarded against may be ensnaring:
and when thou seest the sun and the moon, and the stars, [even] all the host of heaven; those bright luminaries, so glorious to behold, and so useful and beneficial to the earth, and the inhabitants of it:
shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them; should have an impulse on their minds and their hearts, be inclined and drawn to the worship of them, partly by considering their splendour, glory, and usefulness, and partly by the example of others; for the worshipping of these seems to be and is the first kind of idolatry men gave into, at least it was very ancient; see #Job 31:26,27" [JOHN GILL].
has appointed them to serve man." [
"Verse 19. When thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars— The worship of the heavenly bodies was the oldest species of idolatry. Those who had not the knowledge of the true God were led to consider the sun, moon, planets, and stars, as not only self-existing, but the authors of all
the blessings possessed by mankind. The knowledge of a rational system of astronomy served to destroy this superstition; and very little of it remains now in the world," [ADAM CLARKE].
" They were not to allow themselves to be torn away (nidach) to worship the stars of heaven, namely, by the seductive influence exerted upon the senses by the sight of the heavenly bodies as they shone in their glorious splendour." [DK].
Deuteronomy 8:19 And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
"Ver. 19. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, &c.] Either the mercies they received from him, not acknowledging they came from him, but ascribing them to themselves; or their duty to him, to whom they were so greatly obliged: and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them; which would be to forget him indeed, forsaking his worship, and giving homage and adoration to idols, which is what is intended by these expressions:
testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish; by one judgment and calamity
or another, as
the sword, famine, pestilence,
and captivity; there being nothing more provoking to God than idolatry,
which so much detracts from his honour and glory: and
which besides, in such a people, so highly favoured
of God, it argued the basest
ingratitude." [JOHN GILL].
Deuteronomy 11:16 Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them;
"Ver. 16. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, &c.] By observing the influence of the heavens upon the fruitfulness of the earth, and so be drawn to the worship of the host of them, the sun, moon, and stars; or by the examples of nations round about them; and by the plausible arguments they may make use of, taken from the traditions of ancestors, from antiquity, and the consent of nations, and the great numbers of worshippers, and the like:
and ye turn aside; from the true God, and the worship of him;" [JOHN GILL].
De 12:3 "And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place.
shall overthrow their altars] Where
unholy sacrifices have been offered; and break their pillars, probably meaning
statues and representations of their gods cut out of stone; and burn their
groves, such as those about the temple of Ashtaroth,
the Canaanitish Venus, whose impure rites were practised in different parts of the inclosures
or groves round her temples; and ye shall hew down the graven images, probably
implying all images carved out of wood; and destroy the names of them, which
were no doubt at first graven on the stones, and carved on the trees, and then
applied to the surrounding districts. In
various instances the names of whole mountains, valleys, and districts were
borrowed from the gods worshipped there.[ADAM CLARKE].
De 12:4 "You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. [NKJV].
The true (Christian) God must be worshiped with the spirit and from the heart! Cf. Joh "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
De 12:31 "You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. [NKJV].
People need to worship, God’s way, not man’s!
Deuteronomy 26:10 And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the LORD thy God, and worship before the LORD thy God:
"and worship before the Lord thy God; bow before him in a reverend and humble manner, sensible of his obligations to him, and dependence on him." [JOHN GILL].
Deuteronomy 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
"but shalt be drawn away; by an evil heart, and by the ill examples of others:" [JOHN GILL].