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Miscellaneous laws of Deuteronomy 21-25
Miscellaneous laws of Deuteronomy 21-25

This morning we are going to continue our study of the Book of Deuteronomy

-Deuteronomy was written by Moses over the last 30 days of his life and just before the Israelites began their conquest of the Promised Land (after spending 40 years in the wilderness)
-The laws given in this book were meant to regulate life in the land. The purpose of this book is that the Israelites might know how to live before God--- hence it's wide breadth in terms of subject matter***
-The importance of the Book of Deuteronomy is seen in that the kings of the future were to personally write a handwritten copy of it and then read parts of it every day. This leads to a big application for us-- We are to be a people of God's Word who always have on our lips this question "What does the Bible say about...."
-The Book of Deuteronomy also reveals to us the motive we are to have for following God-- We are to obey Him as an act of love. Deuteronomy regularly speaks of God's love for His people and how we are to love Him back.

Over the next half hour we are going to drop down on various texts found in Deuteronomy 21-25-- but mostly from Deuteronomy 22.

-In these 5 chapters Moses- in what almost seems like a random fashion- gives a whole bunch of different laws.
-Some of these laws are easily understood and their wisdom is a "no brainer", others are mysterious and hard to understand, others yet sound crazy or make us almost laugh (this ultimately has to do with our cultural perspective) YET all had a practical and spiritual application when given

One important thing to note:

Our salvation, our standing with God does not depend on our obeying all the various laws of Deuteronomy--yes, some of the laws are four today and the principles that flow out of them are for today-- but we are saved by Grace, not by works and not by our attempts to keep the law.

For more info on what specific OT laws apply see Acts 15 and the Jerusalem council.

As an intro Read Deuteronomy 22:1-12

A walk through of some of the laws of Deuteronomy 21-25

1. Some laws of the Bible might seem funny to us: But they all had a practical and spiritual purpose
---

For instance: Check out the poop and scoop law of Deuteronomy 23:12-14

Note the practicality: santitation, cleanliness, purity, disease control

Note the spiritual reason: Holiness-- for God in their midst

Holiness is a big call of the Bible. Holiness and being Christlike is very practical!

It's Interesting how this verse is partially quoted in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 and the part where it says "I will live with them and walk among them"


2. We have a duty to look out for others-- their well being, their property, their best interests. Deuteronomy 22:1-4

Attendant passages: The commandment to love our neighbour as ourself (Mark 12:31). The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). The call of Philippians 2:4 which says; "Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

We are our brothers keeper (Cain said he wasn't because he was wicked)

Application: If you find something that is not yours don't just automatically say "Finders keepers" Make an effort to find the owner and return it them. Take it to the office/police station/etc

3. Men are not to purposefully dress to look like a woman, neither is a woman to intentionally dress to look like a man. Deuteronomy 22:5


It's interesting how relevant the Bible is. Big issue today as in every age is sexual perversion. How awful that our school boards teach our children that they are not what they are born but they have a choice of 7 genders (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, etc)

As men we need to celebrate our masculinity, likewise women need to celebrate their femininity--- understanding that men and women are different and that their are different roles for the genders.

Sexual purity is a big deal when it comes to living a holy life!


4. When you build something, build it right, build it safe. Deuteronomy 22:8

The foundations and roots of the whole area of building codes is found right in the Bible.

Here is a railing law for a roof-- we also have them for porches and decks.

We liable for what happens on our property. It's not right to neglect safety issues. At work or home the safety of others is important. We need to ensure it and not be lazy or neglectful in these matters


5. Some things are not to be mixed together---Deuteronomy 22:9-11

a. Don't plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard (nutrient stealing, vine overwhelming plus something I don't understand)
b. Don't plow with an ox and donkey yoked together (animal cruelty, unequal strength)
c. Don't wear clothes of wool and linen woven together (linen made of flax plant and very special. Wool common material)

FYI: Orthodox Jews take the clothing command very seriously -- even sending away their clothes to be examined under powerful microscopes.

There is a point that we all get: The point is being made that on a fundamental level that an incompatibility exists.

Note how these commands lead to 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

An application of this is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, which says "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them (which comes from Deuteronomy 23:14), and I will be their God, and they will be my people." "Therefore come out from them and be separate says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters says the Lord Almighty"

Note: Being unequally yoked has nothing to do with the color of your skin, how much money you have, differences in education and ability, or where you are born.

Point: Are you a Christian single and looking for a spouse-- limit your search to fellow followers of Christ. Are you looking for a business partner-- limit your search to a fellow follower of Christ-- this is where the compatibility exists-- where there is a bond in Christ

Special note: If you are married and your spouse isn't on the same page- don't divorce them. Love and serve them with all your strength and in the name of Christ-- praying for them, that the Lord might open their eyes up to their need of Christ as Savior. Whatever you do-- don't nag them.


6. The command to where blue colored tassels on your cloak finds ultimate fulfillment in Christ-- who perfectly kept the law and qualified to die in our place as a once for all sacrifice. Deuteronomy 22:12

This command is also found in Numbers 15:37-41 saying; "The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels on the corners of your garments, with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes. Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.' "

Note the purpose of the tassels:

a. Distinctive dress by which Jews could identify other Jews
b. A visible and constant reminder that one is to attend to the commands of God and stay true to Him

How applicable for us: We need reminders in our lives -- to read the Word, to pray, to tell others about Christ.

FYI: Orthodox Jews still practice this--- though the issue of pride creeps in sometimes (ornate tassels, bigger, better than others). We must be on guard against pride and "look at me" statements in our lives.


Digging deeper

Malachi 4:1-2-- a prophecy about Jesus with a tassel connection

"Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings (referring to the tassels on his garment). And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall"

Note: The word for wing is the same word used as it regards the 4 corners of ones cloak.

Note: The verse refers to Christ-- in the last day, but also as it regards his earthly ministry

As an observant Jew, Jesus would have worn a cloak with 4 blue cords at its corners. Note: Jesus came and fulfilled every aspect of the Law.

Now listen then to Matthew 9:18-22 and consider what happens as it relates to the prophecy of Malachi 4 "While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.

How incredible--

So here we move from a command that at first seems obscure and then makes sense as a visible reminder to obey God's commands and then finds fulfillment in Christ- who perfectly kept the law- and who healed a woman who in faith reached out and took hold of the edge of his garment-- the tassels of His garment. Remember: Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it!***

Further: When we speak of Jesus and their being healing in his wings-- we are also reminded that He is the Great Physician. He made our bodies. He can heal any disease and cure any problem--- more than that-- He came to heal our sin sick souls by dying on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins and acts of rebellion against God. What's required? Us humbling ourselves and coming to Christ in faith and repentance.


CONCLUSION

Seek peace with God. Be reconciled to Him. Put your faith in Christ - who died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins.

God's promise is this: All who come, confessing their sins and putting their faith in Jesus and His work, will receive the gift of forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life.