Deuteronomy 17:1 Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.
2 If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant,
3 And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded;
4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel:
5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.
6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
I realize these words were written to the nation of Israel. They were written to a people that were supposed to be the children of God. They were chosen in the days of Abram. God demonstrated His ownership over Abram in several ways. One way was to change his name from Abram to Abraham. We sometimes give a person a “nick name”. We may see some character trait in that person and we give them a name to reflect that. Sometimes the nick name is given in jest.
God changed Abram’s name to Abraham to reflect the change that He was going to make in Abraham’s life. God is the only One Who can effect good change in a person’s life. That is an important fact to keep in mind. We have many problems in the country of Canada. Far too many people are looking to politicians for the solution. Many people keep hoping that there would be some human leader, either man or woman who would step up and lead us in a better way. Some people are quite excited to witness what the recently elected premier of Alberta is doing. She is a woman. She does not belong in that position. She is making some big statements and she has started to implement some of them. It will be interesting to see how far she gets with what she says she wants to do. The federal government in this country has taken far too much power upon itself, but the provinces have relinquished their power to the federal government too often. Our current P.M. has already proven that he will do as he pleases and no one will stop him. Those who are saved know that God is the One Who sets up rulers and He also can limit their capacity to rule. Those who are saved also need to understand that when a people reject Him, they will find themselves in trouble in many different areas of life. Those who are saved live in a wicked world. Those who are saved will not be immune to facing suffering at the hands of wicked rulers. The difference is that those who are saved can look beyond the wickedness that surrounds them and they can serve the true and living God.
Canada is currently hosting a meeting called COP15. The Acronym “COP” stands for “Conference of Parties”. It is reported that there are 17,000 people registered to attend this current conference. It is being held in Montreal. It is supposed to be the place where these 17,000 people will get together and discuss how they can protect “nature”. The meetings are taking place from December 7 through December 19. This meeting is going to cost us as taxpayers a large sum of money. The temperature in the Montreal area should go up as a result of all the “hot air” that will be exhaled during this time. For certain, those who are saved can know that this meeting will be a complete waste of time and resources.
In the verses we opened this devotional with, God spoke to the nation of Israel of His will for them and He also warned them of the consequences of rejecting His will. We have the privilege of being able to follow the nation of Israel throughout the time of the Bible. We can also observe what has happened to them since the completion of the Bible. We can see that for the most part, Israel chose to reject God’s commands. They chose to follow the ways of the heathen even though God warned them over and over again of the consequences of rejecting Him. Israel has suffered greatly over the past several thousand years. They have seen times when God blessed them greatly as well.
As we have noted, the few godly Jews that have lived in Israel over the years have suffered due to the ungodly choices of the nation. However, the righteous Jews have also had the privilege of trusting in the true God and of serving Him in spite of the wicked choices of those who were in places of leadership.
Canada is not the land of Israel. Canada has never been a Christian nation. Canada was not founded on Biblical principles. There are some who want to claim that Canada has a rich history of knowing the Lord and being built upon His Word. History certainly does not bear this out. There are verses engraved in various places of the Parliament buildings but they have never been the foundation upon which this country was built.
It has taken us over 150 years to get to the place we are at today. Canada was once a land of great opportunity. People came to this country and chose a plot of land and cleared it and set up homes and farms and industry and Canada was a busy and flourishing country.
Over the past number of years things have changed. Canada has a different population today than it had 150 years ago. The natives that occupied the land back then were pagan. They worshiped nature. There were several different tribes of natives living in this country then and they could not get along with each other. They would fight to the death with one another. Many of them starved to death because they were quite lazy and did not know how to live properly because of their paganism.
God allowed Europeans to “discover” this land and to begin to settle here. He gave them opportunity to enjoy the many blessings He had provided in this land. There were a few God-fearing people who came to this land as well. I am not talking of the Catholics or the Anglicans. However, there were a few truly God-fearing people who came to this land. They were interested in seeking to help others to know the true God.
Over time, just as we read in Revelation 2&3, most of those God-fearing people saw the material opportunities of greater importance than the spiritual needs. My forefathers came to this country from Russia. My grandfather was heavily involved in starting the first Mennonite Brethren church in my home town of Leamington, Ontario. The Mennonite Brethren religion was started around 1860. It is not that old. It started because there were some believers in Russia who wanted to evangelize the Russian people and the General conference Mennonites did not want to “rock the boat”. The Mennonites had made an agreement with the Russian government that they would settle in a certain part of the country and they wanted the government let them run their part of the country in their own way. In exchange they promised not to impose their religious beliefs upon the Russian people. Their religious beliefs were obviously not Biblically sound. If they had been, they would never have made such an agreement.
The Mennonite Brethren formed because there were some men who were studying the Bible and saw that evangelism is an important part of being a true child of God. There was a division among the Mennonites over this and thus the Mennonite Brethren were formed. They were not solidly Biblical either, but they did preach the Gospel according to Ephesians 2:8-9. They were somewhat shady on verse 10 of that passage. Over the years, the Mennonite Brethren have become more pagan than the General Conference Mennonites, if that is possible. The reason being that they chose not to build firmly upon the truth, but chose to look for some way to compromise so as not to completely be cut off from their families who did not agree with them.
As a fairly new resident of this “new” country, my grandfather wrote back to his father in Russia and described how things were going here and inviting his father to come to this land. His father wrote him back and declined the invitation to come here. He warned my grandfather of the danger of materialism. I observed my grandfather for a number of years. I saw how materialism slowly but surely ate away at what he once claimed to see as important. I have observed how my father and his siblings further left the truth and became more and more secular. They did well financially, but spiritually it has been a disaster. My current generation is continuing that downward spiral that begins with being born as lost sinners. All people are born as lost sinners. All people must choose to listen to God and be saved and then serve Him faithfully. No one is born a Christian. Parents and grandparents can have a positive influence on their children, but each person must choose for themselves whom they will serve.
We can see that Canada has decided that it will serve the god of their own imaginations. In fact the god of this country is still the god of the natives. Canada is deeply committed to worshipping nature, rather than the Creator of nature — the true God.
Those who are truly saved, need to understand that the only hope for us is to carefully and humbly submit to God’s will and Word and not allow the world to influence us with its ungodly philosophies. This will require a true humility that allows the heart of the individual to submit to God’s righteous standard. Israel was promised great blessings if they would know and follow the true God. They have experienced some of those blessings at times in their history. For the most part they have missed out.
Gentiles can also be assured that God has great blessings in store for those who will humbly submit to His will for them. We are not promised a land. I do not see a bright future for Canada. I see a continual corruption of the people and a collapse of the entire nation. The hope that I have is in Christ. My prayer is that I can help others to see the value of turning to the true God and knowing His peace and blessing in their lives. I need to be in His Word daily and humbly submissive to His will in order to be able to show others that I actually believe what I claim to believe.
As we look at our verses, we understand that we are not commanded to put any lost person to death for defying God. We are not the nation of Israel. However, we can learn that we cannot have a friendship with the ungodly world system that permeates our land. Those who are saved need to live separated lives in this wicked world, so that God’s light can shine through us to a wicked and dying world. This is a challenge that is worth striving for. The process of seeing Godly change take place is often slow. It often involves small steps. We as people are often very reluctant to simply submit to God’s leadership and trust Him explicitly.
We can be thankful that God is longsuffering and is still working with us to help us to see the blessing of serving Him faithfully. Soon the trumpet will sound and this life will be over. The world will face a drastic change as it has never seen before. COP15 or any other conference will not be the catalyst for that change. God will make the change by removing all true believers out of this world and allowing the antichrist to run his wicked experiment for seven years. A few will be saved during that time. It will be an extremely difficult time for anyone who is saved then. It will also be a very difficult time for the ungodly. However, they will be able to reap some of what they have dreamed up at meetings like COP15. I am glad I will not be here for that time. I hope and pray that many others will also turn to the true God in these days of grace to know His peace and blessing.