Offer Your Worship to God


Jerry A Collins

Deuteronomy 12



v        Should we respect other views of God?

v        Is worship done in a building today?

v        Should our worship of God be from our hearts?


There is nobody like him. Troy Smith is only the 2nd quarterback in history to beat Michigan three times. The fist in the modern era since this became the rivalry of al sports. The first was way back in the 30’s. Every Michigan fan will remember Troy Smith because there was nobody like him. Everyone agrees that there is no rivalry like that of Michigan and Ohio State football and there was more on the line yesterday than ever before in this storied competition. Never before have they been ranked #1 and #2 undefeated. There was no game like it ever before. Everything about this match-up was brand new and there were several “never before’s” in just one game. Now God wants Israel to know, act, serve, and worship heir God who stands in a league all alone. A God who is exclusively set apart and worthy of our unbridled devotion. There may be a lot of competition but none equals the distinctiveness of our God and so that uniqueness must be maintained once entering the land so God’s favor can continue to follow His people once they settle down. In a world with rival views of God, we must maintain our worship of God in such a way that elevates His distinctive nature and our exclusive devotion. What is required to do so?


This chapter opens up a new section on different commandments about the central sanctuary of worship for Israel once they settle in the land. They must carefully observe these—‘be careful’ mentioned in vs 1, 13, 19, 28, 32. This must be done as long as they live vs 1. To begin, they must obliterate any other worship to other gods as they possess the land. They must destroy these places and never use them for worship. That includes the paraphernalia of cultic worship like altars, pillars, poles, images and memorials 2-3. They are to wipe all of these out completely and remove any vestige of their influence in the land. These hills and high places and tree groves were all cultic practices that made idolatries sense closer to God and filled with awe in the shadows or symbols of fertility. All for proximity to their nature gods. Israel’s worship will not be like this—that is identifying their God as a competing God like all the others gods. His uniqueness will be developed and maintained differently vs 5 gives us the contrast between ‘places’ and a ‘place’. For instance, some missionaries believe we should gather in a mosque or Buddhist temple as long as we worship our God in our hearts, as a way to connect with the lost we are trying to reach for Christ. God says never accommodate any other worship of other gods. Maintain His distinctiveness in practice, in worship, in devotion.


They are to seek the Lord in one and only one place—the place He designates and chooses (6 times 5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 26). Here is where they give their offerings and make their sacrifices 5-6. God will even choose the tribe’s real estate where this place will be located. All to specify for them and surrounding nations god is unique, distinct and exclusive. He is not in competition with theirs. God will be set apart from all of the pagan cultic worship going on all around. Israel will see to it that God’s dictates are obeyed and fulfilled for their own good in the land. This is their mission when God gives them possession of the land and they find rest from conquering vs 9. The mission includes wiping out the enemy and their pagan practices as they gradually take over. Along the way they should mop up and display of cultic pagan shrines. They should do three things when they settle in the land: (1) Sacrifice to God exclusively by sacrifices intended for the altar, tithes of produce and herds, sacrifices associated with vows and free will offerings and first-born sacrifices according to the Law vs 6, 11 (2) Rejoice in all their activities—they put their hands to and undertake when eating, giving and serving (3 times 7, 12, 18). God wants you to enjoy the gift of life He has given to you with all of it’s attendant blessings from Him. (3) Be careful to worship and devote yourself to God exclusively in way he designates. Basically, that was wherever the Ark of Covt was. For short time in Gilgal and Bethel. 400 yrs at Shiloh thru period of Judges. Then rest of time in Jerusalem when David found place there 2 Sam 6:17, vss. 13-14. God wants to make this very clear—worship is on His terms. You do not worship Him in any other place. This place would be where the very presence of God was Josh 18:1  and this whole section repeated in 5-9 then 10-14 to emphasize the cycle of life and devotion for them and their posterity in the land. They must never deviate and compromise God’s unique and distinctive nature no matters the pressures and temptations contrary. The woman at the well learned that true worshippers will worship God in spirit and truth now. Tho in our age God has not designated a place He has designated a way. Today the body of each believer is the temple of God and true worship and devotion includes presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him (1 Cor 6:19; Rom 12:1-2). God-given practices like walking in the Spirit, being filled by the Spirit, not grieving the Spirit, being holy as He is holy vs man-made practices like calling a building God’s house and viewing it as sacred.


15-16; 20-25  (1) They can have feasts at home but they cannot worship at home or towns. If meat slaughtered for food whether clean or unclean—stipulated as such in the law, they could eat without blood since blood is the life. Pour it out into the ground which will be consume and sucked into it. (2) Sacrificial meals, those sacrifices and offerings belonging to the Lord, could only be held in the Sanctuary, the place designated by God 17-18. They should not neglect the needs of the Levites in the process 18-19 who have no portion in the land. (3) These regulations remain in force even when God extends their borders 20-28. In vs 25 and 28 as they do so they will be dong what pleases God. This is what God wants and this is how it will go well for them in the land. Vigilance is required—repetition of ‘be careful’ to completely obey. (4) They must never adopt pagan worship 29-32. They must not get ensnared by it’s popularity vs 29. They must not curiously investigate these to learn how to adopt their views and practices and procedures 30. God’s exclusive devotion and nature must not be forgotten nor replaced. All these regulations indicate break from common cultic practices. Canaanite worship abominable vs 31—every act God detests they practice, even sacrificing their children in fire. They must permanently separate from this paganism and exclusively devote selves to God’s regulations vs 32.

(1) God demands exclusive devotion. To maintain knowledge of His distinctive nature means adopting measures that solidify understanding of Him in our hearts. One way is to never accommodate other views of God or appreciate worship of these in any form or place other than Bible way.

(2) The specific place of devotion today is our spirit. We feed our new nature and suppress our old one and gradually see more of our lives given over exclusively to Christ’s commands and transformed.

(3) We will be tempted to change our views of god by competing views outside of the Bible. Don’t become curious about them because God has already revealed to us who he is and our need to be devoted to Him and His expectations.