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In the Gates

None, Nada, No Way!

The Second Commandment

None, Nada, No Way!

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Deuteronomy 18.9-13

When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a wizard or a necromancer, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God…”

Leviticus 19.26-28

You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.”

The practices mentioned in these verses were standard pagan fare. How would Israel stand out as a people holy unto the Lord if they simply adopted the ways of their unbelieving neighbors? How would they ever draw people to the knowledge of the holy God and His holy and righteous and good Law if they simply mimicked the ways of their unbelieving neighbors?

Of course, they would not, so God warned them over and over again to keep from all such pagan practices and ways and to cling to Him and His Law.

God solemnly forbids His people from bringing the practices of pagan peoples into their walk with and worship of Him. We are to be holy, set apart from the ways of the world to learn and follow the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics by going to and click on our Book Store.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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