Introduction: Today’s reading shows us how severe God had to be with the Israelites to teach them how to follow His commandments.
Reading: Deuteronomy 13:6-11
Abel’s grandfather peered over his glasses at Abel as the boy came up the porch. He was accompanied by his best friend Marcus, who was carrying something.
“Look at what we found in the old milking shed, Grandpa,” said Abel excitedly. “It’s a lantern!”
“Well, I guess you’re right,” said Grandpa, putting his newspaper down and taking the lantern in his hands. “That was the lantern your great-grandpa Josiah used when he’d go check on the animals at night, just before going to bed.”
“Can we clean it up and put oil in it?” asked Marcus. “We’d like to hang it in our tree house.”
“Well, boys, I’ll help you clean it up as best I can,” promised Grandpa. “But I don’t want you to use it in that tree house. It’s not safe. We can try lighting it tonight in the kitchen and see how it works. I wouldn’t count on it being very useful, though.”
“Look at how rusted it is! It may be rusted all the way through,” said Abel, scraping the side with his fingernail.
Grandpa put the lantern down and looked intently at the boys. “What would have been the right way to treat this thing? How could we have kept it from rusting so badly?”
“Well, I guess it shouldn’t have been left in that old milking shed and forgotten,” said Abel. “The roof of that old shed didn’t keep the rain and snow out.”
“We could have been using it all this time,” added Marcus. “Then we could’ve kept it clean made sure it didn’t run out of oil.”
Grandpa nodded. “Remember that Jesus said in the book of Matthew, ‘You are the light of the world.’ Our light shouldn’t be left forgotten or turned off someplace. We need to be shining God’s love and God’s Word every day. As we grow and learn, it becomes more and more a part of us. We can be useful to God.” He pointed at the lantern. “Without working and serving God every day, it will be easier and easier to sin. Then if we try to be a light later on, we may have found that we’re pretty rusty and close to useless.”
Memory Verse: For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 1 Timothy 6:7
For Further Study:
Today’s reading seems very harsh, but we have to remember that God wanted the Israelites to leave no room for sin. Once a person starts leaving room for sin, it becomes very easy to make it a habit. God expects the same love and obedience from His people today. Read 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Titus 2:11-14; James 4:7; and 1 Peter 1:13.