Resisting Temptation (Deuteronomy 23:9) - Radical

Resisting Temptation (Deuteronomy 23:9)

“When you are encamped against your enemies, then you shall keep yourself from every evil thing.”
-Deuteronomy 23:9

So this is in the middle of a variety of laws in Deuteronomy chapter 23 about cleanliness and about holiness. And specifically, here, you can tell from the context, this is talking about when God’s people would be going into battle and they’re encamped against their enemies. In those moments in particular, “Keep yourself,” God says, “From every evil thing.” Knowing that our greatest need before God is purity. Think about Jesus’s words. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

God, help us to resist temptation by living in purity and holiness today.

And knowing the context here in the Old Testament, that when God’s people would go into foreign lands, they would be tempted to worship foreign gods, to adopt foreign customs, to leave behind God’s word and God’s worship, for idols and practices in immorality in those places. And God is saying, “Be pure in heart. Be pure in every way.” And if God was calling His people to keep themselves from every evil thing then, is he not calling us to do the exact same thing today?

And so we pray, God, keep us from evil. Even as you taught us to pray, Our Father in Heaven, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil today. God, we know every single one of us praying right now, listening right now, as I’m speaking right now, every single one of us is tempted. We’ll be tempted to sin today. We’ll be tempted to evil. God, we pray, based on this picture in Deuteronomy Chapter 23, Verse Nine, help us to keep ourselves from every evil thing. Every evil thought, every evil desire, every impure thought, impure desire. Evil, impure words, decisions, actions. God, help us to live in purity and holiness today, we pray in every way.

God, we want to see you. We want to know you. We want to walk with you. We want to worship you. We want to honor and glorify you in all that we do. And so we pray you would help us to keep ourselves by your grace, by the power of your spirit in us, from every evil thing. In Jesus’s name, we pray in the name of the one who alone has power over sin and evil, and the name of the one who lives in us. By the power of Jesus’s name, we pray this. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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