Who is my God?

 
On September 19, 1796, the American Daily Advertiser published The Address of Gen. Washington to the People of America on His Declining the Presidency of the United States.  This was a valedictory to his “friends and fellow-citizens.”  Moses’ valedictory is found in Deuteronomy, of which this week’s text (30:15-20) is the final paragraph.  Some scholars see this book as akin to an ancient treaty (suzerainty); or it may simply be Moses’ last will and testament.  Regardless, this section stresses national unity and common loyalty – to each other (community) and to God (faith).
 
The verbs are powerful: obey, love, walk in his ways, observe (vs. 16).  Yet, there is a warning: idolatry will lead to separation from the land which God gave to the people he chose – this is death.  Instead, “choose life!” (vs. 19) – the imperative verb revealing power and urgency.
 
True, “idolatry” can refer to a straying towards other gods, in the sense of other divinities.  Or, it can refer to “extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.”  In other words, anything that acts in one’s life like a god – giving life, meaning or purpose – demanding one’s complete loyalty heart, soul and mind – becomes one’s god.  We may try to have our cake and it by having more than one god.  Yet, as Luther pointed out, while a person may keep two dogs, the one that is fed and exercised most will ultimately become the stronger of the two.  
 
A Christian must ask a simple question: who or what is my God?  And the related question: what is compromised by my choice?  And ultimately: am I losing my authentic self and life-giving relationship with God in the process?
 
Pastor Ken Blyth