The people of Israel are not to compromise their worship of God and must remain dedicated to the Holy One of Israel. They must not allow themselves to be led astray by religious leaders, family, and citizens of the cities. The people can be led astray by the religious leaders and fall away from their faith in God. They were warned of the prophets who would rise and say, “Let us go after other gods.” The people were not to listen to them. As members of the covenant community they were to weigh the words of the teachers and religious leaders. Although contemporary religious leaders are mostly characterized by responsible theological teaching there are exceptions. “You shall not listen to the words of that prophet.” All religious leaders should be tested by the Lord’s revelation within the covenant community.
Family members can mislead as well when they become involved in other religious beliefs. A family member can place a strong pull but they must be resisted. They could be close relation or distant still they must be resisted. “You shall not yield to him or listen to him.”
Popular opinion of the community can place a strong persuasion on people. We so often fall into the trap of “Others are doing it so it must be okay.” Popular culture can be a hard thing to combat but we must remain strong and set in our faith.
The holiness of worship is first protected by assuring a holy place of worship. Second it is protected by refusing to be led away from the covenant relationship by religious leaders, family members, and community pressure. Our society would be well better if these principles were practiced today.