In Deuteronomy, the second generation of Israel after being delivered from Egypt was commanded, “Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” (4:1). Again and again in Israel’s history they were warned not to depart from what God had commanded.
In 4:3 they were instructed by Moses, “Your eyes have seen what the LORD has done in the case of Baal-peor, for all the men who followed Baal-peor, the LORD your God has destroyed them from among you.” Baal-peor was a filthy idol and false god of the Moabites, that was worshiped by obscene rites. God destroyed those people and they were meant to be a warning to Israel.
The context of Deuteronomy 4 is a command not to depart from the teaching of the one true God who revealed Himself on the holy mount in the midst of fire. His voice was heard but no form was seen. They were not to make idols in the form of any creature. Approximately 1200 years later, Paul instructed Timothy, “I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God…” (1 Timothy 3:15) The alternative to conducting oneself well in the house of “the living God” is to conduct oneself poorly in the house of a false god.
Good conduct in the church means the avoidance of idolatry. In our day many people groups have laid aside making wooden idols for idols that bring their minds into captivity to vain philosophies. “The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”(2 Corinthians 10:4, 5)
A “Stronghold” from the Greek is a military stronghold; used figuratively of a false argument in which a person seeks “shelter” (“a safe place”) to escape reality. Did you catch that, to escape reality. In the last days men will give he
ed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons we are told by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:1. Demons may be the evil beings behind the lie but the sinfulness in man compounds the deception by turning the lie into a delusion.
The believer we are told, however, tears down “Arguments“, that is any reasoning that reflects someone’s values, i.e. how they personally assign weight in determining what they find reasonable. Only the believer in Jesus Christ can truly be set free from the arguments that are unreasonable. The World believes many ffalsehoods that are unreasonable, such as all men are born essentially good.
Lastly, the arguments of which Paul speaks turn into “Presumption“, which is a thing elevated, at a height: properly, of space, and in opposition to another; specifically, an elevated structure, i. e. barrier, rampart, bulwark.” The Christian, by the Word of God, is enabled to tear down all the vain philosophies of this world that raise men, in their mind, above the God that gave them life.
The value of listening to God and responding to His Word in the Holy Scriptures is the freedom that everyone says they want but cannot obtain. Only the one who bows down to Jesus Christ as Lord is enabled to put true freedom into practice.
FEEL FREE TO RESPOND!