Lagging Behind?

Deuteronomy 23

 “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.” Deuteronomy 25:17&18  NIV

 In Chapter 23 we read that Moab and Ammon were to be excluded from the Assembly of the Lord. Their father was Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Lot traveled with Abraham as he made his journey to the land God was directing him to, but they found famine in the Land and went to Egypt. While in Egypt they both became prosperous and had large herds so when they returned to the land they had to separate because the land could not support that many animals. Lot chose to go to Sodom because the land looked just like Egypt. Abraham chose to trust that God would provide wherever he ended up as long as he was trusting God. Abraham learned that when he trusted in his plan and didn’t seek God’s direction he ended up in Egypt and though he got rich he almost lost his family.

 Lot remained in Sodom and though he resisted the culture his family was caught up in it. When God sent an angel to take Lot and his family out of Sodom because God was going to judge the city, (think rapture) only four of his family went but his wife looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. The daughters realized that there was no one left of the family to provide and protect them when their father died. They decided to get their father drunk and then be impregnated by him, embracing the culture of Sodom. Each daughter had a son; one was named Moab and the other Ben-ammi, or Ammon.

 During the hundreds of years from the time of Abraham until Israel is getting ready to enter the Promised Land, Israel, Moab, and Ammon became nations. Moab and Ammon have lost whatever influence Lot might have had on his sons. They have not only embraced the culture of Sodom but stood in the way of God’s plan for Israel by hiring Balaam to curse Israel. Though Balaam could not curse Israel he did get Israel to sin tempting them with sex which led to idolatry and judgment. God said these nations were not to be allowed to enter the assembly of the Lord even to the tenth generation.

 The assembly of the Lord means the congregation of worshiping, eligible, believers. I believe the use of the word even means, never until there is a change in belief. This is called repentance. God is saying there is no place in the assembly of worshiping believers for those who are not repentant and have not been born again.

Just as the Amalekites picked off those lagging behind, the devil has his sights on picking off the casual believer in the Church. He will do this the same way as Balaam did. He will make his appeal to man’s desire for money, sex, and power.

 We must be born again. Being born again means a new life.  The old life and belief system is to be put to death. To allow the desires of the old life to continue to rule our life now is to be lagging behind and casual in our relationship with the Lord.

To be in the assembly of the Lord, our faith must be removed from the old ways and put in God. We are to be no longer a child of our past.  We must be born again. When we are born again we are now a child of God.

 This makes all the difference in the world as we shall see when we read in a couple of weeks about Ruth who was from Moabs.

 Are you truly born again?

Pastor Dave