Deuteronomy 13:4

Deuteronomy 13:4

It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.
Deuteronomy 13:4

The title provided for this chapter in the NIV is Worshipping Other Gods. It would have been better if instead it read as Don’t Worship Other Gods as in the CEV (Contemporary English Version) bible. While this captures one of the main ideas of the chapter, the other idea is about false prophets who would have you follow other Gods, thus CSB (Christian Standard Bible) has the title False Prophets.

Both ideas are tied together with the first statement in verse 4, It is the Lord your God you must follow clearly implying not to follow any other god or idol. How would the idea to follow any other god or idol come about? Such ideas would come about from false prophets who would encourage worshipping other gods or idols. For such prophets or dreamers within the people of the new nation of Israel, there was to be a direct judgment to put an end to their teachings.

That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
Deuteronomy 13:4

There is much in this chapter about dealing with false teachers, but dealing with the verse above and following the Lord your God, MacLaren’s Exposition had this to say which I found very instructive

If I walk after God, then I let Him go before me and show me my road. Do you remember how, when the ark was to cross Jordan, the commandment was given to the Israelites to let it go well on in front, so that there should be no mistake about the course, ‘for ye have not passed this way heretofore.’ Do not be in too great a hurry to press upon the heels of God, if I may so say. Do not let your decisions outrun His providence. Keep back the impatience that would hurry on, and wait for His ripening purposes to ripen and His counsels to develop themselves. Walk after God, and be sure you do not go in front of your Guide, or you will lose both your way and your Guide.

Of course following Him is made much easier if you do your best to Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him. I appreciate what follows obey Him as obedience is so much easier if I am serving Him and holding fast to Him or as another version said clinging to Him. All too often once life seems to be going along just fine, we tend to forget about Him and start attributing all the good things in our lives to our own efforts and forget out the source of all of our blessings. Not so if we are holding fast to Him or clinging to Him while daily acknowledging Him as the source of all of our blessings.

In the New Testament there are numerous verses where Jesus speaks about following Him. A few are:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 8:12

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
John 10:27

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
John 12:26

So, are we listening? If we are listening, are we obeying/serving and following Him? Are we letting Him light our way?