God Worship (The worship of elohim, god, lord, Jehovah, Trinity) and Related Practices
Deu 12:1 "These are the statutes and ordinances that you must carefully observe in the land that the Sovereign (Yahweh) of your ancestors has given you to possess every day that you live on the earth.
Deu 12:2 Be sure you destroy there all the places where the nations that you're going to dispossess serve their deities—upon the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.
Deu 12:3 Tear down their altars, cut down their sacred poles, and burn them. Cut down the carved images of their deities to erase their memory from that place."
Deu 12:4 "You must not act like this with respect to Yahweh your Sovereign.
Matthew Henry Commentaries
From those great original truths, That there is a Sovereign, and that there is but one Sovereign, arise those great fundamental laws, That Yahweh is to be worshipped, and He only, and that therefore we are to have no other deity before Him: this is the first commandment, and the second is a guard upon it, or a hedge about it.
To prevent a revolt to false gods, we are forbidden to worship Yahweh our Sovereign in such a way and manner as the false gods were worshipped in, and are commanded to observe the instituted ordinances of worship that we may adhere to the proper object of worship.
For this reason Mosha (Moses) is very large in his exposition of the second commandment.
What is contained in this and the four following chapters mostly refers to that. These are statutes and judgments which they must observe to do (Deu_12:1),
1. In the days of their rest and prosperity, when they should be masters of Canaan. We must not think that our religion is instituted only to be our work in the years of our servitude, our entertainment in the places of our solitude, and our consolation in affliction; no, when we come to possess a good land, still we must keep up the worship of Yahweh in Canaan as well as in a wilderness, when we have grown up as well as when we are children, when we are full of business as well as when we have nothing else to do.
2. All the days, as long as you live upon the earth. While we are here in our state of trial, we must continue in our obedience, even to the end, and never leave our duty, nor grow weary of well-doing. Now,
I. They are here charged to abolish and extirpate all those things that the Canaanites had served their idol-deities with, Deu_12:2, Deu_12:3.
Here is no mention of idol-temples, which countenances the opinion some have, that the tabernacle Mosha (Moses) reared in the wilderness was the first habitation that ever was made for religious uses, and that from it temples took their rise.
But the places that had been used, and were now to be levelled, were enclosures for their worship on mountains and hills (as if the height of the ground would give advantage to the ascent of their devotions), and under green trees (Christmas tree), either because pleasant or because awful: whatever makes the mind easy and reverent, contracts and composes it, was thought to befriend devotion.
The solemn shade and silence of a grove are still admired by those that are disposed to contemplation. But the advantage which these retirements gave to the Gentiles in the worship of their idols was that they concealed those works of darkness which could not bear the light; and therefore they must all be destroyed, with the altars, pillars, and images, that had been used by the natives in the worship of their deities, so as that the very names of them might be buried in oblivion, and not only not be remembered with respect, but not remembered at all.
They must thus consult,
1. The reputation of their land; let it never be said of this holy land that it had been thus polluted, but let all these dunghills be carried away, as things they were ashamed of.
2. The safety of their religion; let none be left remaining, lest profane unthinking people, especially in degenerate ages, should make use of them in the service of Yahweh of Israel. Let these pest-houses be demolished, as things they were afraid of.
He begins the statutes that relate to divine worship with this, because there must first be an abhorrence of that which is evil before there can be a steady adherence to that which is good, Rom_12:9.
The kingdom of Yahweh must be set up, both in persons and places, upon the ruins of the devil's kingdom; for they cannot stand together, nor can there be any communion between Yahshua and Belial.
II. They are charged not to transfer the rites and usages of idolaters into the worship of Yahweh; no, not under colour of beautifying and improving it (Deu_12:4): You shall not do so to Yahweh your Sovereign, that is, “you must not think to do honour to Him by offering sacrifices on mountains and hills, erecting pillars, planting groves, and setting up images; no, you must not indulge a luxurious fancy in your worship, nor think that whatever pleases that will please Yahweh: He is above all gods, and will not be worshipped as other deities are.
A City Which turns to Godworship
Deu 13:12 And if word comes to you, in one of the towns which Yahweh your Soverngein is giving you for your resting-place,
Deu 13:13 That good-for-nothing persons have gone out from among you, turning the people of their town from the right way and saying, Let us go and give worship to other gods, of whom you have no knowledge;
Deu 13:14 Then let a full search be made, and let questions be put with care; and if it is true and certain that such a disgusting thing has been done among you;
Deu 13:15 Then take up arms against the people of that town and give it up to the curse, with all its cattle and everything in it.
Deu 13:16 And take all the goods into the middle of its open space, burning the town and all its property with fire as an offering to Yahweh your Soverngein; it is to be a waste for ever; there is to be no more building there.
Deu 13:17 Keep not a thing of what is cursed for yourselves: so Yahweh your Soverngein may be turned away from the heat of His wrath, and have mercy on you, and give you increase as He said in His oath to your fathers:
Deu 13:18 So long as you give ear to the voice of Yahweh your Soverngein, and keep all His orders which I give you today, and do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh your Soverngein.
Godworshiping Nations will be Destroyed
Deu. 20:17 (ISV) You must completely destroy the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, just as Yahweh your Soverngein commanded you
Matthew Henry Commentaries
Deu. 20: 16-18
Deu 20:16 "You are not to leave even one person alive in the cities of these nations that Yahweh is about to give you as an inheritance.
Deu 20:17 You must completely destroy the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, just as Yahweh commanded you,
Deu 20:18 so they won't teach you to do all the detestable things that they do for their deities (gods). If you do what they teach you, you will sin against Yahweh your Soverngein.
Blot Out the Remembrance of Godworshipers
Deuteronomy 25:19 (GW) So when the Yahweh your Soverngein gives you peace from all your enemies around you in the land that he is giving you as your own property, don't forget to erase every memory of the Amalekites (enemy of the Hebrews) from the earth.
Matthew Henry Commentaries
A law for the rooting out of Amalek. Here is a just weight and a just measure, that, as Amalek had measured to Israel, so it should be measure to Amalek again.
This mischief must in due time be revenged, Deu_25:19. When their wars were finished, by which they were to settle their kingdom and enlarge their coast, then they must make war upon Amalek (Deu_25:19), not merely to chase them, but to consume them, to blot out the remembrance of Amalek.
It was an instance of Yahweh's patience that he deferred the vengeance so long, which should have led the Amalekites to repentance; yet an instance of fearful retribution that the posterity of Amalek, so long after, were destroyed for the mischief done by their ancestors to the Hebrews of Yahweh , that all the world might see, and say, that he who toucheth them toucheth the apple of His eye.
Rememder What the Godworshipers did to the Hebrews (Israyl)
Deu 25:17 Remember what the Amalekites (godworshipers) did to you on your trip from Egypt.
Deu 25:18 They attacked you when you were tired and exhausted and killed all those who were lagging behind. They weren't afraid of Yahweh.
Deu 25:19 So when Yahweh your Soverngein gives you peace from all your enemies around you in the land that He is giving you as your own property, don't forget to erase every memory of the Amalekites (godworshipers) from the earth.
Matthew Henry Commentaries
A law for the rooting out of Amalek. Here is a just weight and a just measure, that, as Amalek had measured to Israel, so it should be measure to Amalek again
The carriage of the Amalekites towards the Hebrewa (Israel) is here represented,
(1.) As very base and disingenuous. They had no occasion at all to quarrel with Israel, nor did they give them any notice, by a manifesto or declaration of war; but took them at an advantage, when they had just come out of the house of bondage, and, for aught that appeared to them, were only going to sacrifice to Yahweh in the wilderness.
(2.) As very barbarous and cruel; for they smote those that were more feeble, whom they should have succoured. The greatest cowards are commonly the most cruel; while those that have the courage of a man will have the compassion of a man.
(3.) As very impious and profane: they feared not Yahweh. If they had had any reverence for the majesty of Yahweh of Israel, which they saw a token of in the cloud, or any dread of His wrath, which they lately heard of the power of over Pharaoh, they durst not have made this assault upon Israel.
Well, here was the ground of the quarrel: and it shows how Yahweh takes what is done against His people as done against himself, and that He will particularly reckon with those that discourage and hinder young beginners in religion, that (as Satan's agents) set upon the weak and feeble, either to divert them or to disquiet them, and offend his little ones.
2. This mischief must in due time be revenged, Deu_25:19. When their wars were finished, by which they were to settle their kingdom and enlarge their coast, then they must make war upon Amalek (godworshipers) (Deu_25:19)