"You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You shall not walk in their statutes. You shall follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God."
This principle was intended to set Israel apart as the Lord’s own people, distinct from all others. It was also intended for their own good, since God’s laws were just and good and the laws and customs of the Gentiles among whom they lived were terrible and cruel. Living God’s way would be better for them all around.
As Christians, we live in the same situation. We are in a world that has turned its back on God and lives in much they same way that the pagans of ancient times lived. The customs, lifestyle, and increasingly even the laws of the nation in which we live are often unjust, perverse, and cruel.
As God’s chosen and redeemed people, we are not to live according to the laws and customs of the people around us. What they do and what they consider good and just and right will often be terrible, cruel, and wicked. God’s ways are good and right.
God has given us His Word as a light in the darkness of this world and He has given us His Holy Spirit to guide us. We can do this, by His grace. “This is the right way; walk in it,” the Holy Spirit whispers in our ear.
There will be conflicts with the world. They will think we’re fools and look on the decisions we make and the way we live as strange and foreign. They may even see us as a threat.
In that they will be right. Our citizenship is in Heaven and we live here as pilgrims and sojourners on our way home.
Lord God, You have always called Your people to live by Your standards, in a world in rebellion against You. You know the ways that I have compromised with this world. Forgive me! Give me the understanding and strength that I need to follow You. Lead me by the hand and bring me safely Home in Your time, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles