Various Laws

Deuteronomy 21:22-22:12 – Various Laws
Deuteronomy 22:13-30 – Marriage Violations
Deuteronomy 23:1-8 – Exclusion from the Assembly
Deuteronomy 23:9-14 – Uncleanness in the Camp
Deuteronomy 23:15-25:19 – Miscellaneous Laws

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One Reply to “Various Laws”

  1. Deuteronomy 21:22-22:12 – Various Laws

    Moses must have had the strangest cases put before him in his role as judge for the people. The “various laws” might be labeled “random laws” and placed in an appendix. Don’t leave a body hanging on a pole overnight is followed by tending to lost sheep (or donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost). These seem random, but I’m sure they had their place in the assembly…so many people, the strangest cases, how I wish we had hidden cameras for some of them!

    Deuteronomy 22:13-30 – Marriage Violations

    There was a time when sexual relations were limited to those in marriage (really, it’s true!). In cultures where marriages are arranged, where the marriage relationship is not so much a confession of great love, rules had to exist to protect the woman in particular. Promiscuity was not tolerated, nor was divorce. Again we see the phrase: “You must purge the evil from among you” (22:21, 22:22 and 22:24). God is undoing hundreds of years of Egyptian paganism in these his chosen people. While difficult to appreciate the capital offense, it is easy to understand the need to relentlessly purge evil from the church.

    Deuteronomy 23:1-8 – Exclusion from the Assembly

    Of the rules for exclusion, Balaam’s name is mentioned as a reminder of the evil he instigated toward the Israelites; thus, there will be no treaties with the Ammonites or Moabites. The Egyptians, however, get a reprieve after three generations, then they “may enter the assembly of the Lord” (23:8). In one respect, this is a brief reminder of their sorted history.

    Deuteronomy 23:9-14 – Uncleanness in the Camp

    I wonder why Moses had to right this down…well, never mind, he had to write down just about everything. Nocturnal emission and excrement, keep yourself clean!

    Deuteronomy 23:15-25:19 – Miscellaneous Laws

    The label for this section is Miscellaneous Laws, though it seems to me that we’ve been reading miscellaneous laws already! I counted 22 laws written here, some more complex than others.

    One in particular that caught my attention: “Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth” (23:23). Taped to my monitor is a sticky note (not so sticky anymore) that simply says, “Do what you said you would do — WALK WITH INTEGRITY”. This reminds me of the words I have uttered and prompts me to be careful of promises made to be sure they become promises kept. One of my personality flaws is to be one who pleases people, who has a problem with saying “no” to just about anything that would be helpful to someone, especially those in the church. It’s tough to admit that I can’t say yes to every request. Seeing disappointment register in someone’s eyes when I say no is hard to take. From what I’m told, that wasn’t the case when I was on active duty in the Air Force. Perhaps my present state is a reaction to those tough, disciplined years, but I’m still the same person.

    Lastly, it’s important to note the concern for the “poor and needy,” for the “foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.” Moses has special concern for this group of people and provides laws to protect them in 24:14-22. The first observation is to see that there are those among the Israelites that fall into this category. Quite the contrast isn’t it? On one hand, the Lord commands that the inhabitants of the Promised Land be blotted out and in the details, he is concerned about the individuals that are abandoned. God is the Lord or details, one who is concerned about individuals. If these people matter to God, they should matter to us, even today. Lord help me to be one who cares about the poor and need, the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow. Those who society looks upon with pity, may I look upon with care and show the love of Christ.

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