When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.(Deuteronomy 18:9-14)
We Have Not Been Appointed To Such
The greatest challenge for the Hebrew nation entering Canaan was not the conquering of the nations around them but the battle for their minds from the influence of the people that lived there. Numerous times the Lord told Israel the Promised Land had been given to them. At Kadesh-Barnea the people were assured of the victory over the inhabitants of the land. Forty years later as they prepared to cross the Jordan River the Lord promised unconditionally the land would be theirs. His warning was clear the greatest danger confronting them was following the detestable practices of nations as they worshipped idols causing their children to be sacrificed as burnt offerings, witchcraft, sorcery and all of the carnal desires of the flesh. The reason the Lord was allowing Israel to destroy these nations was punishment for their wickedness. He was driving the ungodly out of the land as judgment for their idolatry. As the nation of Israel swept through the land executing the will of the Lord they were to remain blameless or perfect before the Lord. They were the vengeance of God upon the unholy. As they settled in the land the people were to keep themselves apart from the influence of the world about them because the Lord had appointed them to be sanctified and holy to Him.
Joshua lead the people into Canaan and the land was conquered through the power of God. Sadly, the history of Israel is written in the sands of spiritual defeat as the people failed to follow the will of God is dispossessing the nations about them. Their history became a tragic tale of immersing themselves in the abominations of those nations. A time would come when they made their sons and daughters pass through the fire and practiced witchcraft, soothsaying and all the abominations of the Lord God. They did not remain blameless. What they had been appointed to by the grace of God was rejected to become like the nations around them. The glory of the Almighty was tarnished in the lives of the children of God as they allowed the world about them to change their hearts to serve the gods of the world.
The church of Jesus Christ faces the same challenge as the Israelites of old. Satan continues his brutal onslaught on the hearts of the people of God to dissuade them in serving the one true Lord. Every day the abominations of the world whittle away at the character of righteousness and truth as the saints of God slip deeper into the practices of the carnal world. We do not pass our children through the fires of pagan altars but we sacrifice them to the luxuries of the world in giving them everything but God. They are taught that acceptance by the world is more important than service to the one true Lord. Sons and daughters are sacrifices on altars of popularity, entertainment, materialism and sexuality in immodesty to the glory of the world. God is not exalted. He is debased in the eyes of the family, the community and the church.
God separated Israel calling them to be blameless before Him. They had been appointed by the Lord God to be a people distinct in their speech, dress, attitude and example. Their lives were to be in contrast to the world about them. So must the church be in all things to be a distinct people who do not serve the gods of the world. Carnality has largely influenced the church to where it is difficult to distinguish the Christian from the non-Christian. The church of the Lord has been appointed by the Lord God to be a people of notable character. Everyone who desires to live consecrated lives will face persecution from a world diseased by the abomination of sin. Children of God stand against these influences seeking to keep themselves pure because He has appointed them to be a people of character. The history of Israel is laid bare on the altars of rebellion and will become the prophetic story of the church if change is not made.