Deuteronomy 21-23

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SO many rules and laws today!!!   If I were living back then I’d have to write the laws ALL over my walls so I could read them daily to make sure I remembered everything.   SERIOUSLY!!!

The thing that stuck out to me in this reading was that God was repeating the laws to the NEW generation so they would remember the laws and know HOW to use them in their daily lives in every possible situation.  HE WANTED the Israelites to have them on their hearts, so they would have a heart for Him and NOTHING else (not idols,not sex outside of marriage, not ANY thing to separate them/us from His love). And THAT same desire of God’s is as true today as it was back in the OT!!.  God wants us to want to know Him and have Him on our hearts always. Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.  The more we hear it and read it the greater our faith becomes…and the fuller our heart becomes with Him. 🙂

Chapter 21 —  I found it interesting when the Lord was advising HIS people if they found a dead body then the Levites closest to the town the dead body was found in would have to come in to offer a heifer up for the death of the person found.  Verse 6 says:  “Then all the elders of the town nearest the body shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley  and they shall declare:  “OUR HANDS DID NOT SHED THIS BLOOD, NOR DID OUR EYES SEE IT DONE.  ACCEPT THIS ATONEMENT FOR YOUR PEOPLE ISRAEL, WHOM YOU HAVE REDEEMED, O LORD AND DO NOT HOLD YOUR PEOPLE GUILTY OF THE BLOOD OF AN INNOCENT MAN.”  This is a foreshadow of JESUS CHRIST.

Matthew 27: 22-26 states:

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.  They all answered, “Crucify him!”  23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.  But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”  24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd.  “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”  26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

Verses 15-17 — The LORD is making sure that the firstborn son whether it is from  the wife the man truly loves or not…. the FIRSTBORN will receive a double portion of the inheritance.  Do you remember how Isaac ended up giving the double portion to Jacob/Israel who was the 2nd born …. Esau/Edom was actually the first born.  It wasn’t Isaac’s fault because Rebekah and Jacob worked together deceived Isaac… but it did happen!!  Then there was the moment when the sons of Joseph (the son Jacob was most partial to, first born of Rachel, and Rachel was the wife he REALLY loved)    Jacob/Israel after he is aware that Joseph is still alive and has delivered HIS people.  Jacob gives Joseph’s sons, Manassah and Ephraim a double portion after adopting them as his own!!  Joseph’s sons received the double portion oft he blessing.  …. when it REALLY should have been Reubin (the REAL oldest son, but from Leah the wife he didn’t love)!!  God made it ABUNDANTLY clear in this chapter for the NEW generation that the double portion of the blessing had to go the oldest son  regardless of which wife  the husband loved the most.

Then we come to the rebellious son….. the parents were to STONE HIM.  WHOAH!!!  WHAT is at the heart of the matter?  Rebellion….  God did not like it them and HE does not like it now.  The heart of the matter is disciplining children… BECAUSE YOU LOVE THEM, to teach them, to train them in a way that they will know.     Check out Hebrews 12:7-8

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.    

Last year,  one of the people doing the Bible study made a most interesting comment.  She said  we do no favors to our children or ourselves when we do not discipline.  In this section they are talking about stoning due to rebellion. TODAY…. people are allowing their children to get “stoned” because there is a lack of disciple and obedience.      Interesting twist…. eh???

In verse 23 it states: “you must not leave his body (hanging on a cross) on the tree overnight.”  This law pertained to the Israelites and what had to happen when a rebellious son was stoned to death.  THIS is another foreshadow of Jesus Christ.  Jesus could not be left on the cross overnight!!!  Isn’t this amazing??

Chapter 22 —     The things that stood out to me in this chapter were….. to truly care about your neighbor.      Don’t simply overlook things that happen that bring loss to your neighbor.  We are to be CUSTODIANS and keepers of this earth and are to try to make resolutions with each other.  

Much to say about the marriage vows… no sex outside of marriage… is the main theme…. and ummmmm…. well… not having sex with “your father’s wife.”  

Today…. the marriage vows are to be sacred a union between a man and a woman devoted solely to each other .  Look at Ephesians 5:25-33  

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Chapter 23 — God tells HIS people that the Ammonites or Moabites  were NOT to enter into the assembly of the Lord…. EVEN down to the 10th generations!!!  Do you recall that the Ammonites and Moabites were descendants of Lot’s…… his sons through his daughters.  (Uggggg!!)  The Ammonites and Moabites had NO respect for God and worshiped other gods.  God had protected the Ammonites and Moabites for a long time since they were the children of Lot.  Lot was the nephew of Abraham…. so Lot and his descendants had been blessed because of God’s promise to Abraham.  God’s promise not only included Abraham and his descendants but also those who were under Abraham’s covering…. his wife… his nephew… his nephew’s family… and Abraham’s descendants.  Well…. the Moabites and Ammonites WERE under the Promise ….  until they tried to have Balaam (remember him and his ass???) place a curse on the Israelites!!

Shrine prostitution was not to be tolerated… no male or female was to defile themselves in this manner……Keep in mind that this was against the marriage vows, as well as God was teaching HIS people how to become and remain HOLY.  In Egypt where they had come from… and in Canaan where they were going… the people worshiped other gods.  Part of their worship to their multitude of gods was to have sex in front of god and everyone.  We can see in our society today the tremendous negative impact prostitution has on people as well as things that have stemmed from that type of lifestyle. …. porn….. sex hot lines… and more.  It is an addiction that at the very least destroys a person’s character and often tears marriages completely apart.

And we end with keeping the vows you make.  “You made the vow freely to the Lord your God with you own mouth.” …. so you must keep it.

This weekend I was greatly blessed to be able to witness the marriage of one of my cousin’s sons.  The ceremony was absolutely beautiful ….. outside on the beach.  The thing that touched my heart so deeply was that these two young adults made sure their vows to each other were grounded in the WORD and the love of Jesus Christ.  They had met in 8th grade, never dated anyone else … went through high school and college…. faced their own challenges as they grew and matured and made their vows before the Lord and witnesses Friday evening before sunset.  They understood their vows were voluntary and that they were entering into them giving their all to each other with Jesus in first place.  As I listened to their vows ….. I could not help but think of the scriptures in Ephesians 25 that I shared above and how God sees vows… not to be entered into lightly… and kept forever in this lifetime…through the love, the laughter, and the tears.  🙂

So…. as boring as these chapters may have appeared to be on the surface …. there is sooooooo much in them that still applies today.  Circumstances have changed with the times…. but God’s WORD NEVER changes… just as God’s character NEVER changes.  HE is the same yesterday… today… and always.  We may just have to dig a little deeper to see how they apply to us today.  🙂

Questions??? Comments??? A scripture that touched you….. I’d love to hear from you.  Shoot me an email at gbsmudski@nc.rr.com and be SURE to use the SUBJECT field by entering BLOG in it so I don’t trash it in error …… or write it on the blog.

Sharing HIS love,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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