Deuteronomy 16:21–22: “You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the LORD your God. You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the LORD your God hates.”

November 30th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In Deuteronomy 16, God reminded His people once again to be careful not to copy the worship of the locals, the Canaanites, when they got into the land. He reminded them of this over and over again because it was so important. Today we are also, after we receive salvation, left among the locals in order to change them, to change the world, not to have them change us. A recent American poll showed that a majority of parents don’t think peer pressure is a significant influence in their children’s lives. However, on the other hand, 75% of the teenagers said their peers influence them more than their parents or anyone else. We all need to be more aware of the force of peer pressure, but parents especially need to understand the pressure it exerts on their children.

There is an ancient Aesop’s fable concerning this concept. A man wished to purchase a donkey, and agreed with the donkey’s owner that he would try the animal out before he bought him. He took the donkey home and put him in the straw-yard with his other donkeys. The new donkey immediately found and joined the donkey that was the laziest and biggest eater. Seeing this, the man put a halter on him and led him back to his owner. The owner asked him how in so short a time he could have made a trial of the donkey, and the man answered, “I do not need a trial. I know that he will be just like the one he chose for his companion.” We have often heard that as believers we are called to be in this world but not of it. We must be around some bad company if we are to share Jesus with this generation, but we must be extremely careful not to become identified with those outside the body of Christ and end up becoming like the company we keep.

“LORD please make us strong so we can love the sinner but hate the sin enough to be useful to You. We want to be part of Your solution for saving this world, God, not part of Your problem.”