Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 2

Deuteronomy 21:1 – 22:30; Luke 9:51 – 10:12; Psalm 74:1-12; Proverbs 12:11

Today we read a very odd set of instructions in the Old Testament—no linen and wool together, rape and crying out, marrying a captive woman, protection of the firstborn son’s rights even if his mother is not the loved wife, and a dead body found in field.

What are we to make of all these odd rules? This section of Deuteronomy is comprised of miscellaneous rules from chapters 21-25. Let’s look at a few and get Jack S. Deere’s take on them from The Bible Knowledge Commentary

There are detailed instructions about marrying a woman captured in war. Dr. Deere says this woman must have been from a city at a distance as the Israelites were forbidden to marry a Canaanite woman (7:1, 3-4). The woman is to be treated with dignity by preparing her for marriage while giving her time to mourn her family. This contrasts starkly with the common practice in the ancient Near East of brutal treatment of war captives, including rape. Israel’s soldiers were not to rape as these other nations did, but instead to follow a defined process to bring the captive woman home and into the nation by marriage.

Then details are given about a rebellious son, that he is to be taken to the elders and judged and punished by them. Dr. Deere notes that the son’s sin is rebellion, not being profligate and a drunkard. He says there are no records that this was ever done in Israel, but that the law itself served as a deterrent to sons so that they would not be rebellious. Yes, I would think so!

One more rule among these many: Deuteronomy 22:5. “The adoption of clothing of the opposite sex was forbidden because it obscured the distinction of the sexes and thus violated an essential part of the created order of life (Gen. 1:27),” writes Dr. Deere. God created two separate sexes and we are to honor the differences and not to blur them—a very appropriate command for us to be aware of in our culture as it increasingly moves toward gender blurring. Let’s be men and women and not androgynous.

In Luke 9:59, Jesus says, “Follow me.” He gave no rules for following Him except that it is a complete following. Nothing else must matter to the disciple—just follow Jesus. He must become the focus and passion of the disciple’s life.

To follow the Law, one had to be diligent every day to consider what needed to be obeyed in each circumstance from choosing one’s clothing (not sewing wool and linen into the same garment) to the judgment and consequences for rape.

To follow Jesus is simple. Just give Him everything and follow with your whole heart and life.

Simple—not a lot to remember.

Simple, but not easy.

“Lord, give us the grace and passion to follow you diligently with our whole lives for You are worthy.”

- Nell Sunukjian

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