• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Previous Next

CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia
email us button  

sulu icon

SULU

SAMOA

au leoleo icon

TUSI AU LEOLEO

tusifaitau aso icon

TUSI FAITAU ASO

autaumafai icon

TUSI AU TAUMAFAI

EFKS MUSEUM

efks museum1


 

MAIN OFFICE LOCATION

JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use Google Maps.
However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser.
To view Google Maps, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options, and then try again.

CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

email us button

message of the day icon

 

Tuesday 20 August
Exclusive embrace

 

Read Deuteronomy 7:1–9
But this is how you must deal with them: break down their altars, smash their pillars, hew down their sacred poles, and burn their idols with fire. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God … (verses 5–6a)

Yesterday we looked at the way Deuteronomy draws us in, body, mind and spirit, to a life devoted to God. Deuteronomy is attractive to me as I seek to find a faith that is also a whole way of life, not just an intellectual assent. In Deuteronomy, the word of God is in reading and doing as well as thinking; it is ‘very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe’ (Deuteronomy 30:14). In today’s reading, we see how that gift of God’s word to the Israelites is sheer grace, not given on the basis of any worthiness on their part (verses 7–8).

I find this nearness of God in Deuteronomy attractive and affirming. But in today’s reading we also see the very deuteronomic idea that does, or should, repel us: the so-called ban imposed by God on the other peoples that live in the land of Israel. It is a threat to Israel’s faith and her very existence that the seven tribes listed in verse 1 continue to live in the land. Israel is to ‘utterly destroy them’ (verse 2). Historically, it is unlikely that this ban was ever enforced, but that is hardly comforting.

Yet Deuteronomy also makes clear that Israel is to care for the resident alien, the orphan and the widow (14:29). Leviticus 19:18 commands us to ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. The ban is abhorrent, but the Bible itself, including Deuteronomy, shows us how to care for others and live in harmony. Belief in one God is a way to peace amid diversity; belief in one God need not lead to violence in God’s name.

† God of peace, root out the seeds of violence in my community. Help us live together for your name’s sake.