Monday, November 27, 2017
Daily reading assignment – Deuteronomy 20-22
Moses’ final challenge to Israel before his departure continues in today’s scripture reading, Deuteronomy 20-22. Israel is encamped at the threshold of the land God promised Abraham and his lineage; however, the land will not be theirs’ without going to war to secure and to enlarge it.
Deuteronomy 20 is a continuation of Moses’ instruction to Israel in times of war. Moses challenged the people to be confident when facing superior enemies, not trusting in their own strength, but placing their confidence in the LORD (Deuteronomy 20:1-4). The men were expected to take up arms and go to war for the nation; however, some in Israel were given exemptions from military duty lest they be a distraction and endanger others. Among those given exemptions from war were men building a house, planting a vineyard, newly married, and the fainthearted who lacked courage (Deuteronomy 20:5-8). While women, children, and livestock might be spared as spoils of war, Israel was to put to death every man of war (20:10-20).
Deuteronomy 21 sets forth various laws Israel was to follow and underlines the sanctity of human life (21:1-9), the just treatment of an alien woman taken as a wife (21:10-14), the birthright of a firstborn son (Deuteronomy 21:15-17), and the punishment of a rebellious son (21:18-21).
Being reminded an Israelite was commanded to love his neighbor, Deuteronomy 22 states the duty of a man regarding his neighbor’s welfare and possessions (22:1-4). There was also to be a distinction of the sexes in their dress and fashion (22:5).
Remembering God is the Creator and life is sacred, rather than wanton callousness for animal life, Israelites were to value and preserve the life of even the smallest bird (22:6-7).
Because man is created in the image of God, precautions were to be taken to protect human life, including the building of battlements or low walls about the roof of one’s home (22:8) to prevent accidental falls, injury and death.
Finally, practical laws and guidelines are given regarding the sanctity and purity of marriage (22:13-30). Unlike their heathen neighbors, Israelite women were given protections and the right of due process should their purity and testimony be called into question. Deuteronomy 22 closes with a reminder that incest was an abomination to God and prohibited (22:10).
As a closing observation, you should recognize there are many life principles we follow as a nation and take for granted in society that originate with many of the laws stated in today’s Scripture reading: The sanctity of human life (21:1-9), the equitable treatment of women (21:10-14), caring for a neighbor’s welfare (22:1-4), and the sacredness of all life (22:6).
America has systematically rejected God and the authority of His Word over the course of the last 50 years and we have become a society whose laws are divorced from unalterable sacred principles, leaving us as a nation given to the whims of wicked men.
Isaiah 5:20-21 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith