This is a Test
The Rule of Law: First Things (28)
“…for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 13.3
There’s nothing like the threat of a random pop quiz to help students keep up on course content. If you want people to get something to stick in their minds, test them from time to time, and give them the opportunity to show what they’ve learned.
In context, our verse warns against listening to false prophets, who would arise in Israel from time to time, seeking to curry favor with rulers or to entice the people to worship foreign deities. These temptations, and others, are part of the divine plan for embedding His Law into our souls – heart, mind, and conscience.
There is no escaping temptation; we will always be confronted with opportunities to disobey the Lord. In ancient Israel one of the most dangerous temptations would be when someone sought to lead the people to worship other gods. But this was only the most dangerous temptation; temptations confronted the people of God all day long in a wide variety of ways.
The Lord allows these tests in order to give His people an opportunity to recall His Law and continue in the path of obedience.
But the only way to recognize temptation is to know the Law of God. We could not know we were being tempted to covet, Paul explained, unless the Law taught us about coveting (Rom.7.7). So even the daily temptations that come our way are designed to get us thinking about the Law of God, recognize that we are being tested, and choose the way of obedience and holiness rather than the way of sin. Even temptation therefore becomes a means for strengthening our minds in the Law of God.
The infinitely wise, good, holy, and loving God intends to rule our minds – what and how we think – so that, by obeying Him we may know Him and enjoy the blessings of His promises. By commanding us to learn the Law, giving us examples of parents and rulers who live and teach it, reminding us of the goodness and purpose of the Law in various ways, and even exposing us to the tests of temptation, God works by His Spirit to strengthen our minds in understanding and using His Law.
T. M. Moore
The Law of God is the soil which, fertilized by the rest of God’s Word and watered by His Spirit, brings forth the fruit of the Christian life. If you’d like to understand this process better, and how to make best use of the Law in your walk with and work for the Lord, order the book, The Ground for Christian Ethics, from our online store.
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.