03/16/22 Purge the Evil from You

READING: Deuteronomy 13:1-16:17

Two scholars who’ve written about Bible interpretation make this point about watching for repeated words and phrases in a text: “Simply by observing the repetition of words, we have an early indication of what the passage may be about.”* This guideline will become important as we read more of the book of Deuteronomy over the next few days. I encourage you to watch for any phrases similar to “purge the evil from among you”—and you will hear the repeated emphasis for the Hebrews to be set apart, holy, distinct from the world. 

In fact, this phrase (or something quite similar) occurs in Deuteronomy 13:5, 17:7, 17:12, 19:19, 21:21, 22:21, 22:22, 22:24, and 24:7. The word translated “purge” may be understood as “burned out”; that is, the people of God were to “burn out” any evil that remained in their lives—particularly, in today’s reading, false prophets. God had set apart His people “as holy to the Lord your God” (Deut 14:2), and He expected holy people to do whatever it took to live out that holiness for God’s glory. Those who were part of God’s “special treasure” (Deut 14:2) were to live especially for Him. 

We, too, are to be holy: “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, ‘You must be holy because I am holy’” (1 Pet 1:15-16). That commitment means we must ask the Holy Spirit to help us daily purge any evil from our lives. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: What do you need to purge from your life?                        

TODAY’S PRAYER: “God, I need Your help to see myself as You see me. Show me any areas that I must ‘burn out’ of my life.”           

TOMORROW’S READING: Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 

* J. Scott Duvall, J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (p. 54). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.