When I read the words in Deuteronomy, it seems like a million years since they were written. But in actuality, it was only a few thousand. It seems alien because the way we live today is very different than the way they lived back then. But like us, they were human. And being human carries with it the same temptations, frailties, and needs that are common to man. In chapter 13, Moses warns the Israelites to stay focused on their devotion to God. In his time, there were prophets and seers who would reveal what would happen in the future. Some were from God and others were not. For those who were not, it was feared that they might lead the Hebrews away to other gods. But in verse 4 Moses says:
"It is the Lord your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him."
Earlier, Moses says that God might allow false prophets to enter their midst in order to test them. To past the test, their eyes needed to be focused on God. In much the same way we need to have our eyes focused on God. We may not be tempted to worship other gods, but there are other temptations that could lead us away from him just as easily. But our first love, our first focus, needs to be on him. Moses says that we must follow and revere God; that we need to keep his commands and obey him; that we must serve him and hold fast to him. I encourage you to pursue these goals as well.
Matthew warns us not to allow the seeds of God’s word to fall on thorny ground or life may choke it out. Is your life choking out your devotion to God? Moses warns us that it is the Lord our God that we must follow; that it is to him we must hold fast. It is kind of like a sailor strapping himself to the mast of his ship when a storm hits. That mast holds him fast. He is not thrown overboard. For us, God is our mast. We need to hold fast to him. We need to cling to him. We need to understand that he should be our primary focus. Matthew 6:33 tells us that if we seek first his kingdom and his righteousness then he will take care of everything else. I encourage you to do that today. I encourage you to hold fast to God.