ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 292



280
IMMERSE

BEGINNINGS
4:15-34
decrees and regulations so you would obey them in the land you are about
to enter and occupy.
“But be very careful! You did not see the Lord’s form on the day he
spoke to you from the heart of the fire at Mount Sinai. So do not corrupt
yourselves by making an idol in any ­form—­whether of a man or a woman,
an animal on the ground, a bird in the sky, a small animal that scurries
along the ground, or a fish in the deepest sea. And when you look up into
the sky and see the sun, moon, and s­ tars—­all the forces of h­ eaven—­don’t
be seduced into worshiping them. The Lord your God gave them to all
the peoples of the earth. Remember that the Lord rescued you from the
­iron-­smelting furnace of Egypt in order to make you his very own people
and his special possession, which is what you are today.
“But the Lord was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I
would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the Lord your God is
giving you as your special possession. You will cross the Jordan to o­ ccupy
the land, but I will not. Instead, I will die here on the east side of the river.
So be careful not to break the covenant the Lord your God has made
with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the Lord your
God has forbidden this. The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a
jealous God.
“In the future, when you have children and grandchildren and have lived
in the land a long time, do not corrupt yourselves by making idols of any
kind. This is evil in the sight of the Lord your God and will arouse his
anger.
“Today I call on heaven and earth as witnesses against you. If you break
my covenant, you will quickly disappear from the land you are crossing the
Jordan to occupy. You will live there only a short time; then you will be
utterly destroyed. For the Lord will scatter you among the nations, where
only a few of you will survive. There, in a foreign land, you will worship
idols made from wood and s­ tone—­gods that neither see nor hear nor eat
nor smell. But from there you will search again for the Lord your God.
And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.
“In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will
finally return to the Lord your God and listen to what he tells you. For the
Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you
or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.
“Now search all of history, from the time God created people on the
earth until now, and search from one end of the heavens to the other. Has
anything as great as this ever been seen or heard before? Has any nation
ever heard the voice of God speaking from ­fire—­as you ­did—­and survived? Has any other god dared to take a nation for himself out of another
nation by means of trials, miraculous signs, wonders, war, a strong hand,





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