March 20, 2023
Deuteronomy 24 – 27 teach us concerning miscellaneous rules, first fruits and tithes, following God’s commands, the altar on Mt. Ebal and curses placed on people
Chapter 24 –
Divorce was not part of God’s marriage plan but it was permitted here. God allowed divorce when a man found something indecent with his wife. There was also a provision to give newly married man one year off from military service.
They were aid at the end of each day and to take a mans grindstone or upper millstone as a security for a debt was cruel because each day they brought home the food for that meal. Even worse was kidnapping which was punishable by death.
Skin diseases were matter of great concern and required quarantine until the priest pronounced the infected person clean.
If anything was to mark the people of God it was compassion for those in need – a trait short in supply both then and now. Continuing his focus on compassion Moses pointed out that workers deserved their wages in a timely manner – even more so if they were poor and had no other way to eat. There was repeated direction for the Israelites to keep these laws since they were once slaves. If we are comforted by God then we too should comfort others.
Chapter 25 –
The theme of justice in Israel continued with the demand that when a dispute between men was heard in court, the judges would hand down a ruling that ensured acquittal for the innocent and justice and punishment for the guilty in keeping with the seriousness of the crime. There was also provision that if a brother who lived on the same property died his brother was to marry his wife and raise up a son in the deceased father’s name if he refused, he was judged and given a disgraceful nickname.
Justice and honesty were not options in business for Israel. To use differing weights on a scale was deceptive, the Lord demanded an honest weight.
Chapter 26 –
Moses quite often called his followers to remember what God had done for them once they entered the promised land. One of the requirements was to bring the first fruits of all the land to the Lord at he central sanctuary as an offering. After presenting their offering they would recite a saying in which they recounted their history and struggles from the days of Jacob.
At the end of this lengthy message Moses calls for the commitment of the people to the Lord His statutes and ordinances. The people responded by affirming that the Lord was their God and they would walk in His ways, keep His statues, commands, and ordinances.
Chapter 27 –
In these chapters Moses identified the blessings and the curses that would fall on Israel for keeping or despising the Lord’s covenant. Moses and the elders…commanded the people to conduct a covenant renewal ceremony that included writing the law on large stones covered with plaster. They were to build an altar and offer burnt offerings to the Lord.
Moses described the unusual form of this ceremony which Joshua later carried out. Moses’ statement that day This day you have become the people of the Lord your God. Concluding the chapter twelve curses were given, with a summary curse beginning at the end. They were pledging their obedience to the Lord. Sins done in secret would not go unpunished by God.
Anyone who does not put the words of this law into practice is cursed.