God is a God of forgiveness, mercy and love and One who keeps His covenant

God is a God of forgiveness, mercy and love and One who keeps His covenant with His people and who willingly forgives those who repent, but also punishes those who don’t, and that too, without favoritism or partiality. All He requires from His people is that we circumcise our hearts and refrain from being rebellious and stubborn against His will and Word, vs 16.

He appointed the Levites to serve Him in place of the Israelites, and although they received no inheritance, yet the Lord Himself was their inheritance and He made sure that they were well provided for with the best of the land, Deuteronomy 10. They saw for themselves how God moved mightily to deliver them from their enemies when they obeyed, as well as, how He punished those among them who rebelled against Him and His servants,* Deuteronomy 11.

Offering sacrifices on high mountains, hills and under every leafy tree, like the heathen did, was strictly forbidden, Deuteronomy 12: 2.  
Infact, they had to offer burnt offerings, and do everything that God had commanded them only at the place the LORD choose in one of the tribal areas, vs 14.

Blood was never to be consumed, vs 16,17; and the sacrifices they offered were to be enjoyed by them and their families, as well as, gladly shared with the Levites and widows, orphans, foreigners and the needy people around them.

False prophets that did signs and wonders, yet subtly suggested disobedience to God’s Word were not to be tolerated at all, whether the came in the form of individuals, family members or groups of people from a town.

They and all those who sided with them together with their belongings were to be immediately destroyed, Deuteronomy 13. Cutting oneself for the dead or eating food that was forbidden was strictly prohibited too, Deuteronomy 14:1-21.

They were to tithe annually of their grain, new wine , oil, and the firstborn of their livestock and flock, at the place where God choose, so that they would learn to revere the LORD all their lives, vs 23.

In obeying all these commandments they were assured of God’s blessings in everything they did, vs 29.

This shows us that those who obey God wholeheartedly, and refuse to disobey Him whether pressurised directly or subtly, as well as, offered their sacrifices and tithes regularly at the place where God directed were sure to be blessed.

Very often, practically speaking, we fail to offer sacrifices of our pride, ego, selfishness, hatred, anger etc. at the place where God has placed us and seek routes of escape to our own spiritual hurt! Instead, like Cain, we choose to rather give material sacrifices to replace the spiritual ones.

This is displeasing to God and as we make amends and correct the same, while also refraining from keeping close friendships with those whose advice contradicts God’s Word, we shall surely enjoy God’s blessings and favour throughout our lifetime. Let all who have an ear, hear.

Rowena Thomas
Mumbai, India.